Peripheral arterial disease or PAD treatment aims to manage the symptoms and to stop the development of the atherosclerosis throughout your body. This will also lessen the risk of having a heart attack or s stroke. One good way to accomplish these goals is through lifestyle changes. In case you smoke, the best time to quit is now. This is the most important and easiest way you can do to reduce your risk of complications.
If lifestyle changes are no longer enough to treat peripheral arterial disease, your physician will advise you to undergo additional medical treatment. He or she may prescribe you a medication to prevent any blood clots, lower the blood pressure and cholesterol, and to control body pains and other symptoms.
Here are the medications that you may be advised to take:
High blood pressure medications – In case you have high blood pressure, your physician may prescribe you medications in order to lower it. The goal of taking this medication is to reduce your systolic blood pressure to 140 millimeters of mercury or to lower your diastolic blood pressure to 90 mm Hg or lower. Your blood pressure should also be under 130/80 mm Hg, if you have diabetes.
Cholesterol-lowering medications – one example of cholesterol-lowering drug is station. You may take this to reduce any risk factor of heart attack or stroke. The goal for this medication or therapy is to reduce LDL or the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, to less than 100 milligrams per deciliter or 2.6 millimoles per liter. If you have additional major risk factors for heart attack and stroke, such as being diagnosed with diabetes or if you cannot stop smoking, then the level of LDL should be lower.
Medications for preventing blood clots – due to the fact that peripheral arterial disease is related to reducing the blood flow to the patient’s limbs, it’s also important to reduce the risk of acquiring blood clots. Your blood clot can totally block the narrowed blood vessel and eventually cause tissue death. Your doctor may also prescribe you with aspirin therapy on a daily basis or another medication that can help prevent blood clots. One example of this type of medication is as clopidogrel or Plavix.
Medication for controlling blood sugar – if you have PAD and you are diagnosed with diabetes, remember that you need to watch out and control your blood sugar or glucose levels. Don’t do this on your own. You may ask your doctor about what level your blood sugar should be. You also need to ask the steps you need to take in order to achieve these goals.
Symptom-relief medications – to control the symptoms, you may take cilostazol (Pletal). It increases the blood flow to your limbs by preventing blood clots at the same time by widening the blood vessels. Cilostazol ultimately helps treat symptoms of claudication, including leg pain for those who have peripheral arterial disease. There will be side effects when you take this medication such as headache or diarrhea. If cilostazol doesn’t work for you, you may also take pentoxifylline (Trental. Pentoxifylline is less effective but the side effects for this medicine are rare.
Keep in mind that having peripheral arterial disease means that even minor injuries can lead to risk factors in acquiring serious infections. If you have cuts or wounds, cover them with nonstick bandages to keep them dry.