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A Patient's Guide to Heart Surgery

Medication Tips

Taking Medications

You may be given medications after your surgery. Medications help protect your heart and keep it working right. Take the medications you're given exactly as you're told. Don't take any other medications without your doctor's OK.

Medications You May Be Given

Medications you may be given after heart surgery include the following:

  • An anticoagulant may be prescribed after valve surgery. This keeps your new valve free from blood clots. With this medication, routine blood tests are done to check its level in your system.
  • Antibiotics may also be prescribed after valve surgery. They must be taken before any dental work or other medical procedure is done.
  • Other medications may be prescribed after bypass or valve surgery to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, or lower cholesterol.

If you have questions about any of your medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist. And keep these points in mind:

  • Tell your doctor if you have any symptoms after taking your medications. These include an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, or a skin rash.
  • Ask your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications, including aspirin.
  • Take each dose exactly as prescribed. Do not increase, decrease, or stop your medication without your doctor's OK.
  • Keep a list of your medications, including dosages and other instructions. Show the list to any health care provider you visit.



> Next: Life After Heart Surgery


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