If you are in a cardiac rehab program, you are probably taking medicines for your heart and for other health reasons.
Some prescribed medicines can change your heart rate, blood pressure, and overall ability to exercise. It's important for your rehab team to know what medicines you take.
Give your rehab team a list of the medicines you are taking, especially if they cause any side effects during exercise.
This table lists medicines that you might be taking and how they affect exercise.
Affect heart rate (HR)?
Affect blood pressure (BP)?
Affect exercise capacity?
|Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors||No||Lower BP||No|
|Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)||No||Lower BP||No|
|Antiarrhythmic agents||May lower HR, depending on the type of medicine||No||No|
|Beta-blockers||Lower HR||Lower BP||Decrease, but may increase if you have angina|
|Bronchodilators||Raise HR||No||Increase capacity|
|Calcium channel blockers||Raise or lower HR (depending on the drug)||Lower BP||No|
|Digoxin||Lower HR||No||Increase, if atrial fibrillation or heart failure is present|
|Nitrates (nitroglycerin)||Raise HR||Lower BP||Increase, if angina or heart failure is present|
|Vasodilators||Raise HR||Lower BP (raises BP after exercise)||No|
Medicines for anxiety or depression may affect your blood pressure and heart rate.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||John A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology|
|Last Revised||September 27, 2012|
Last Revised: September 27, 2012
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