Drugs that work on the heart
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Drugs that work on the heart book
This chapter focuses on medications that affect the cardiovascular system, in particular drugs affecting blood pressure. It is important to remember that although the drugs' effects are exerted on blood pressure, it is often end organ perfusion that is the primary concern. In this respect, monitor the patient holistically and avoid merely chasing the 'perfect' blood pressure number. It can be seen that blood pressure can be increased by increasing heart rate or by increasing stroke volume. In simple terms, the heart is a pump, which can vary its rate and strength of contraction. The blood is being pumped around a circulation that essentially consists of three parts: arterial system, capillary system, and venous system. The discussion of the drugs describes the general principles of their actions, but individual patients' responses will vary depending on their underlying physiology.