A heart attack, also referred to as a myocardial infarction, occurs when a blood vessel that leads to the heart becomes completely blocked and can no longer carry oxygen through the bloodstream to this vital organ. Blockages are typically the result of a plaque buildup inside the artery that leads to a blood clot when blood can no longer flow freely through the vessel. During a heart attack, the cells of the heart muscle die, causing permanent damage to the heart. Many factors can increase the risk for a heart attack, including lifestyle choices, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and some medications.
The Symptoms of a Heart Attack
Symptoms can include:
- pressure or pain in middle of the chest radiating to the shoulder, arm, or back
- pressure may feel like the chest is squeezing together
- pressure and fullness in the center of the chest
- pain may come and go in episodes
- subsequent episodes becoming more painful and intense than the first
Some victims also experience:
- shortness of breath
Any of these symptoms should be addressed immediately, since prompt medical attention makes a substantial difference in the outcome.
Treatment for a heart attack often begins with CPR, whether administered by the emergency team or the hospital staff. Medications used to treat a heart attack include aspirin and other types of blood thinners to avoid additional blood clotting. Beta blockers may also be offered to slow the heartbeats and preserve the heart from additional damage. Some patients may also require medical procedures like stenting to reopen blocked blood vessels, which is often done after the heart attack to prevent problems in the future.
Drug Side Effects
A heart attack caused by Chantix is one of several side effects verified in a recent U.S. study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The study found that Chantix users were 72% more likely to develop heart problems like a heart attack than those patients taking a placebo. The reason for the link between Chantix and heart attacks has not yet been determined, but there has been some speculate that it has to do with the way the medication alters dopamine pathways that regulate many of the body’s functions.
A Crestor heart attack is one of a number of side effects and may be associated with the reduction of C-reactive proteins in the blood as a result of taking this medication. These important proteins are responsible for indicating inflammation in the body, which is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Because this medication is given to individuals with high cholesterol levels who are already at increased risk of a heart attack, the link between this medication and heart problems is of great concern.
One of the life threatening Darvocet side effects is the risk of a Darvocet heart attack and has been attributed to the fact that this drug can interfere with the electrical activity of the heart, leading to cardiac issues that could cause a potentially life-threatening heart attack. Those at higher risk of a Darvocet heart attack include patients who have already been diagnosed with heart disease, high cholesterol or hypertension, or have had a heart attack in the past. Other risk factors might include depression, smoking and metabolic syndrome.
A Yaz heart attack is one of several serious Yaz side effects and may be due to the progestin in the formula that can result in increased potassium levels in the body. Because elevated potassium levels do not have any symptoms, women taking Yaz may be at increased risk of heart attack from the medication without knowing it. Some of the factors that increase this risk include previous diagnoses of heart problems, smoking and menopause.
A GranuFlo heart attack or NaturaLyte heart attack is the primary reason for the FDA’s Class I recall of the dialysis products in June of 2012. Both products were found to be administered in doses too high for healthy consumption. In some cases, patients received lethal doses of these products. Fresenius Medical Care, maker/distributor of the products, faces potentially thousands of lawsuits in the aftermath of the recall.
Though not as common as internal bleeding, Pradaxa side effects also include the risk of heart attack. Ongoing research is currently being conducted to explore the comparative of Pradaxa heart attack to other anticoagulant medications.