There are two main objectives when treating peripheral arterial disease or PAD—preventing the progression of atherosclerosis to minimize the risk of stroke and heart attack and management of symptoms like leg pain.
The aforementioned objectives can be accomplished through lifestyle modifications. Case in point: if you smoke, you can dramatically reduce the risk of peripheral arterial disease by quitting.
However, if lifestyle modifications are not enough to deter the progression of the condition, additional medical attention should be considered. Your doctor will likely prescribe medication to lower both your cholesterol and blood pressure. This is done to control pain and other symptoms and to prevent blood clots from developing.
Medications that can help treat peripheral arterial disease
Medications that lower the cholesterol
Many patients with peripheral arterial disease are given Statin. This is done in order to minimize the risk of stroke and heart attack. Medications like Statin which lower the cholesterol are given to effectively reduce LDL or low-density lipoprotein to below 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/DL).
If you smoke or if you are diabetic, that means you have major risk factors for heart attack. In similar cases, an LDL level lower than 100 milligrams per deciliter should be maintained.
Medications that control blood sugar
Glucose or blood sugar levels must be managed especially if the patient is suffering from diabetes. It is recommended that you talk to your doctor to find out the appropriate sugar level you need to maintain. You can also ask for insight and advice as to the right steps you need to take to attain the ideal level right for you.
Medications to lower high blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure, you will surely be given medications that will ensure your pressure will not spike. Medications for blood pressure will help you reduce your diastolic blood pressure to a normal 90 mm Hg or lower.
Medications to relieve symptoms
Medications like Cilostazol can help increase the flow of blood to the limbs. It is also effective in treating claudication and leg pain for people who are suffering from peripheral arterial disease.
While symptoms are relieved, you need to also be aware that you might be experiencing a few side effects like diarrhea and headache.
Apart from Cilostazol, another medicine known as Pentoxifylline might also be prescribed.
Medications that prevent blood clots
Since blood flow to the limbs is reduced when you have PAD, you are often prescribed to take medicines to improve the blood flow. One medication you might be given is aspirin therapy or Clopidogrel (Plavix).
How do surgeries aid patients with peripheral arterial disease?
This method works by creating a graft bypass utilizing a vessel made from either a body part or synthetic fabric. This technique will allow the blood to flow around the narrowed or blocked artery.
Angioplasty is done by threading a catheter or a small hollow tube through the blood vessel to the artery that is affected. A small balloon situated on the tip of the catheter will then be inflated in order to flatten the artery wall blockage and reopen the artery. This procedure will also effectively stretch the artery in order to facilitate an increase in the blood flow.
In cases where the artery is blocked by a blood clot, the attending doctor may inject a clot dissolving drug. This is done in order to break the clot up.
Keep in mind that having peripheral arterial disease or PAD can also mean that even minor injuries can result to different risk factors. If in any case you have wounds or cuts, it would be best to cover them up with nonstick bandages to play safe and to keep them dry.
If you have any questions about peripheral arterial disease you need enlightenment on, get in touch with the helpful and competent staff of Vascular and Interventional Centre right away.