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Frequently Asked Questions... And Answers!
What is atherosclerosis?
Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart and then to other parts of the body. Atherosclerosis occurs when plaque builds up along inner arterial walls restricting blood flow. Plaque consists of fatty substances, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances.
Atherosclerosis comes from the Greek words athero, meaning gruel or paste and sclerosis, meaning hardening. Scientists don't know exactly how or why atherosclerosis starts. It can begin in childhood and usually exhibits no symptoms until middle age or older. As it develops, plaque builds up inside the inner lining of large and medium-sized arteries. Risk factors for atherosclerosis include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.
As the disease progresses, one of two things can happen:
- Plaque buildup significantly reduces blood flow in one or more arteries.
- A plaque ruptures causing a blood clot to form inside the artery.
Read more about atherosclerosis.
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Isosorbide Mononitrate (Imdur, Monopark, Monoket)
Isosorbide mononitrate (Imdur, Monopark, Monoket) is used to prevent or treat angina (chest pain). Isosorbide tablets may be used with other drugs to treat congestive heart failure. They work by relaxing the blood vessels to the heart, so the blood and oxygen supply to the heart is increased.
Isosorbide mononitrate can cause low blood pressure (hypotension). Other medications, which can reduce blood pressure, may produce additive effects causing serious drops in blood pressure.
Isosorbide mononitrate belongs to a class of drugs called nitrates. Make sure you discuss with your health professional if you are taking nitrates and:
- might be pregnant
- are taking certain antidepressants
- are taking certain antipsychotics
- are taking quinidine, procainamide, benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium) or opiates (e.g. morphine).
- are taking antihypertensives (high blood pressure medicine)
- are taking Sildenafil Citrate (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), or Vardenafil (Levitra)