Something I perhaps haven't said much about is the cocktail of drugs that you get put on after you have a heart attack. I feel as though I am single handedly keeping a pharmaceutical company in business. Yesterday I had to collect my repeat prescriptions from our GP surgery (living out in the sticks our GP surgery also dispenses medicines), and they were given to me in a carrier bag!! The prescription went over 4 prescription sheets.
And there it is... my little collection of tablets...
First we have levothyroxine, which I was on before all of this, Sertraline, Zelleta (the progesterone only pill), and I also took 5mg Amlodopine for my blood pressure which was slightly raised after I had my eldest son and never came down, so they have kept me on that. Since the heart attack they have added:
Ticagrelor (Brilique) 90mg twice a day - that is to prevent clots forming
Ramipril 2.5mg +1.25 mg twice a day - this lowers blood pressure and has other cardioprotective properties as well
Atorvastatin 80mg at night - reduces cholesterol but also prevents arteries from getting furred up.
Bisoprolol 10mg in the morning - a beta blocker, reduces blood pressure and makes the heart pump more effectively
Aspirin 75mg in the morning - reduces clotting and has other protective properties
Lansoprazole in the morning - this is to try and stop my stomach from reacting to all of the above.
I think that is it. So I have 11 tablets to take in the morning and 3 in the evening. All except the Ticagrelor and Lansoprazole are likely to be for life. The Amlodipine may go, but only if they can get me on a higher dose of Ramipril.
So all this to keep me at low risk of any future heart events - a lot of tablets to take, but a small price to pay to stay well. I'm used to taking tablets every day because I've been on thyroxine for nearly 9 years, and that is for life anyway as the part of my thyroid that has been killed off by antibodies isn't going to regenerate itself!! (For those that are interested I have autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimotos)).
I think what shocked me was just how quickly I was put on all the medication - I was started on all of these within a couple of days, and I was on the full dose of the beta blocker within 24 hours. They are still trying to add in more ramipril, but that seems to be the one that I'm struggling to tolerate, mainly because of my stomach. They want my bp as low as I can tolerate basically.
The meds have made some really big changes to my heart rate - I used to typically have a heart rate of 75-85, and now it is 50-60! My blood pressure today when I checked it was 109/63. When I was in hospital it was 160/100 - I'm not sure if that was a consequence of the heart attack as I don't think it was habitually that high before, except for the end of my pregnancy with J, when I had some major problems with my bp.
The statin is supposed to lower my cholesterol - it wasn't high to begin with at 4.4, but they would like it 2.5 or below, and a higher proportion of 'good' hdl cholesterol rather than the ldl cholesterol that furs up your arteries.
All that said, I'm very glad that I'm on thyroxine, as otherwise I'd be paying for all my prescriptions - and at £8.40 per item that would be a bit steep. I could probably get a prepayment certificate that would keep the costs lower, but even so free is better.