A heart attack occurs when blood to the coronary muscle is blocked, usually by a clot. If blood flow isn't quickly restored, the heart muscle begins to die, causing permanent damage. There are several risk factors for heart attacks, including some prescription and recreational drugs.
Nitrates are a class of drugs prescribed for angina, or chest pain. Long-term, regular use of nitrates can double the risk of heart attack.
Antibiotics like erythromycin and clarithromycin can triple the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.
Other Prescription Medications
Some medications for gastrointestinal disorders, like cisapride and domperidone, and anti-psychotics, such as haloperidol and pimozide, can contribute to the odds of having a heart attack.
Illegal drugs, especially cocaine and methamphetamines, can cause rapid heart rate, chest pain and significantly increase the chances of sudden heart failure.
The QTc interval is the measurement of the rate of heart contractions. Most prescription medications linked to an increased risk of heart attacks increase the QTc interval, which causes disruptions to regular heart rhythms.
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