Occlusive Atherosclerosis at 10x Magnification
Most medical practitioners initially recommend dietary therapy to patients at high risk for atherosclerosis. A number of drugs are available, however, if needed to help reduce the possibility of heart attacks and other atherosclerotic-related events. In particular, prevastatin, lovastatin, and other members of the class of drugs known as statins, are often prescribed to lower blood cholesterol levels. Some doctors also recommend a regimen of low-dose aspirin, which studies show thins the blood, stabilizes plaques, and lessens atherosclerotic inflammation, but for many people the possible side effects of such a regimen, mainly gastric bleeding, may outweigh the potential benefit. Nitroglycerin, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers are other medications that may be prescribed for individuals with atherosclerotic problems.