ACE inhibitors

The ACE stands for Angiotensin Converting Enzyme. By inhibiting this enzyme, blood vessels dilate, and this effect is used to treat hypertension.

Angiotension receptor blockers

These are related to the ACE inhibitors, acting on blood vessels in a slightly different way to reduce pressure and resistance. They are generally used when ACE inhibitors are not tolerated. As with ACE inhibitors, they’re used in hypertension and heart failure.

Antiarrhythmic drugs

These include beta blockers and calcium antagonists. The most commonly used antiarrhythmics include: Digoxin, Flecainide, Propafenone, Sotolol, and Amiodarone.

These drugs are used to treat atrial and ventricular arrhythmia.

Beta blockers

This group of drugs acts primarily to reduce the heart rate and the strength of heart contraction. Drugs such as atenolol, metoprolol, nebivolol, carvedilol and bisoprolol are all beta blockers. The major use of these drugs is treating angina but sometimes they are used to treat arrhythmias and to treat heart failure.

Blood thinning/anticoagulation

  • Aspirin reduces the stickiness of platelets in the blood to prevent clots building up within arteries. Treatment is usually lifelong after a heart attack or stent.
  • Clopidogrel is another type of platelet drug that reduces clot build up. In patients with heart attacks, clopidogrel provides additional protection when added to aspirin.
  • Warfarin works by acting on the coagulation profile rather than platelets, and is used to treat larger clots.

Calcium antagonists

Includes drugs such as amlodipine, nifedipine, felodipine, lercandipine, diltiazem and verapamil. These drugs act to dilate blood vessels, and have applications in treating angina and hypertension.


These drugs assist in removing extra fluid from the circulation. So, in heart failure where excess fluid accumulates in the legs and the lungs (causing breathlessness), diuretics will offload the excess.


Includes drugs such as GTN spray and isosorbide mononitrate. This class of drugs dilates blood vessels directly and can be used to treat angina by dilating coronary arteries.

  • Fiona Dowling

    Cardiac Sonographer Fiona has worked with Coffs Cardiology since 1995. Fiona studied her Bachelor of Science at UNE and then undertook further study with a...

  • Kristine Holland

    Practice Manager Kristine has been Practice Manager of Coffs Cardiology since 1994.  Kristine has a Diploma in Practice Management through UNE.  She is a member...

  • Lukas Holland

    Filing Clerk/Administration Lukas has been with Coffs Cardiology since March 2009. Lukas completed his HSC at JPC in 2007. He is currently studying at SCU doing a...

  • Leanne Emery

    Registered Nurse Started with Coffs Cardiology in 1998. Began with stress tests and performed echocardiography for 2 years. Leanne’s main role since 1999 has primarily...

  • Dr Jon Waites

    MBBS (LOND), MRCP (UK ), FRACP, FCSANZ Dr Waites is a general adult Cardiologist specializing in diagnostic procedures ensuring optimal evidence based clinical care for...

  • David Law

    Senior Sonographer David joined Coffs Cardiology in 2001 and was instrumental in establishing our Echocardiography Lab.  A qualified teacher, David trained at the Prince of...

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