The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, blood vessels, and blood that are used to distribute oxygen, nutrients, and hormones and transports waste products so they can be removed from the body.

Cardiac drugs regulate heart contraction, heart rate, and heart rhythm and regulate blood flow to the heart muscle. There are three groups of cardiac drugs: glycosides, antianginals, and antidysthythmics.

Glycosides are known as digitalis glycosides. They inhibit the sodium-potassium pump and increase intracellular calcium. As a result, there is an increase in cardiac muscle contraction, decrease in the heart rate, and a decrease in conduction of electrical stimulus to the heart.

Antianginal drugs are used to treat angina pectoris by increasing blood flow either by increasing oxygen supply or by decreasing oxygen demand of the heart. Antidysrhythmics are drugs that restore normal cardiac rhythm and are used to treat cardiac dysrhythmias.

Antihypertensive drugs are used to treat hypertension by using a stepped-care approach where groups of antihypertensive drugs are used in succession if blood pressure isn't at first decreased. Angiotensin antagonists are used primarily to treat hypertension and some are also effective in treating heart failure.

Diuretics lower blood pressure and decrease peripheral and pulmonary edema in congestive heart failure. In renal or liver disorders diuretics inhibit sodium and water reabsorption from the kidney tubules resulting in an increase in urine flow.

Circulatory disorders impair the flow of blood throughout the body. Circulatory drugs are used to restore and maintain circulation. There are four groups of circulatory drugs: anticoagulants and antiplatelets prevent blood clots from forming, thrombolytics dissolve blood clots, antilipemics decrease blood lipids, and peripheral vasodilators dilate vessels narrowed by vasospasm.

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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