Cardiovascular: Atrial Fibrillation (Anticoagulation, Rate Control), Heart Failure (Chronic, Fluid Retention), Hyperlipidemia, Hypertension, Peripheral Arterial Disease (Symptomatic), Post-Myocardial Infarction.
Musculoskeletal: Gout (Acute, Chronic), Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Pain: Fibromyalgia, Low Back Pain, Neuropathic Pain, Trigeminal Neuralgia.
Mental Health: Anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder), Bipolar 1 Disorder, Depression, Schizophrenia.
Neurological: Epilepsy, Migraine (Treatment, Prophylaxis).
Respiratory: Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (Acute Exacerbation, Stable).
Endocrine: Diabetes Mellitus Type 2.
Gastrointestinal: Prevention of NSAID-Induced Ulcers.
Renal: Urinary Tract Infection.
Other: Smoking Cessation.
Anxiety disorders involve more than temporary feelings of anxiety, worry or fear. There are several different types of anxiety disorders including the following:
– Social anxiety is the intense fear of being embarrassed or judged by others and people with the condition usually avoid social situations
– Panic disorder is classified by recurrent and regular panic attacks, often for no reason
– Generalized anxiety is excessive worry relating to a variety of everyday problems
Feelings of anxiety can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. More information can be found at www.anxietycanada.ca or www.axietybc.com
Treatment options vary based on type and severity of anxiety and can include psychotherapy, medication or a combination of both.
Medications for the treatment of anxiety disorders include:
Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways that causes shortness of breath, a feeling of tightness in the chest, coughing and wheezing.
Medications for the treatment of asthma include:
Atrial fibrillation is a condition where the heart beats in an irregular rhythm. The heart is a muscular organ consisting of four parts, or chambers, that pump blood through the blood vessels. The pumping mechanism that causes the “heart beat” is regulated by electrical activity in the top chambers of the heart, the atria. A person with atrial fibrillation has abnormal/disorganised electrical activity in the atria, causing the heart beat to be very fast and irregular. More information can be found at the Heart and Stroke Foundation website.
Treatment of atrial fibrillation is aimed at decreasing symptoms and reducing complications. Medications may be prescribed to control your heart rate, control the rhythm of your heart or to reduce your chance of having a stroke.
Medications to control your heart rate include:
Medications to reduce complications are called anticoagulants (blood thinners), they include:
Bipolar 1 disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings. These mood swings can range from extreme highs (mania) to extreme lows (depression) and can last for several weeks or months.
Symptoms of a manic episode can include: not eating or sleeping, having a lot of energy, talking very quickly, and becoming annoyed easily.
Symptoms of a depressive episode can include low energy, sadness, feelings of hopelessness, irritability, and lack of motivation or interest in things.
The goal of therapy is to reduce the severity and number of high and low episodes a person with bipolar disorder will experience. Treatment options depend on the type and frequency of episodes. Psychological treatment in combination with medication can help control symptoms and reduce the frequency of mood swings, prolonging the maintenance phase.
Medications for the treatment of depression include:
Medications used during the maintenance phase include:
Medications for the treatment of mania include:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also known as COPD, is a disease that makes it hard to breath. Often people with COPD cough, wheeze, have shortness of breath, and their chest feels tight.
When a person has COPD, less air flows in and out of the airways. Most people with COPD have a mixture of emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In people with emphysema, damage to the walls of the lungs reduces the exchange of gas between the lungs and the blood stream. In people with chronic bronchitis, the lining of the lungs is irritated and inflamed, causing mucus to form. This mucus makes it hard for the person to breath.
Treating COPD and changing your lifestyle can help you feel better, stay more active, and slow the progress of the disease. People with COPD sometimes experience a sudden worsening of their symptoms, called an “acute exacerbation” of COPD. People are defined as having “stable” COPD if their symptoms are either staying the same or gradually getting worse.
TreatGx gives options for medications for those people who are experiencing an acute exacerbation and a separate set of options for those with “stable” COPD.
Medications for an acute exacerbation of COPD include:
Medications for stable COPD include:
Fibromyalgia is a chronic (long term) condition that causes pain all over the body. Other common symptoms include fatigue, trouble sleeping, headaches and digestive problems. Because the presence and severity of symptoms can vary between people with fibromyalgia, a tailored approach to treatment is ideal.
Education, exercise, and psychological therapies are often part of the management strategy in addition to medications which can be given to reduce pain and manage other symptoms.
Medications used for fibromyalgia include:
Exercise is a fundamental part of therapy for the management of chronic low back pain. Medications may be given to reduce pain and enable participation in normal daily activities.
Medications used for low back pain include:
Chronic neuropathic pain stems from a dysfunction of the nervous system and can include a number of conditions such as diabetic neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, phantom limb pain, and more. The pain may be described as burning, stabbing, or shooting pain and is often associated with numbness, “pins and needles” and itching.
The symptoms and intensity of neuropathic pain can vary thus a tailored approach including medication, exercise, psychological therapy, and controlling risk factors may be used.
Medications used for neuropathic pain include:
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain disorder that is confined to the face. In most cases, only one side of the face is affected, usually the lower parts of the face near the jaw, teeth or gums. It is often described as a sharp, shooting or electric shock-like pain that can occur suddenly or can be triggered by movement or touch.
Trigeminal neuralgia is treated with medication but may require surgical intervention in severe cases.
Medications used for trigeminal neuralgia include:
Depression is a complex condition with diverse symptoms. Being depressed is different from experiencing the “blues”. People who are depressed experience symptoms over a long period of time; these symptoms may include: Continuous low mood or sadness, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, low self-esteem, tearfulness, irritability,, and lack of motivation or interest in things.
The goal of treatment for depression is to achieve relief from the symptoms of depression, and more importantly not just getting better, but staying better. The type of treatment your healthcare professional recommends will be based on the type of depression you have, medication is only one option for treatment of depression and not suitable for all.
Medications for the treatment of depression include:
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood that occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that controls the amount of glucose in the blood. Initially the body may try to correct this by increasing the production of insulin, but over time the body is less able to meet this demand and the level of glucose in the blood remains high. Some people may experience a combination of tiredness, frequent urination (peeing), unusual feelings of thirst, or unexpected weight loss. Having high levels of glucose in the blood can lead to complications such as damage to the heart, eyes, and kidneys. The goal for treatment is to lower the level of sugar in the blood and thereby prevent complications.
Treatment of diabetes depends your glucose levels; medication is not always necessary. Lifestyle changes, including eating a healthy diet and being active, are very important for people with Type 2 diabetes.
Medications for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes include:
Epilepsy is characterized by seizures, fits, or convulsions. The seizures appear differently depending on how the brain is affected and the degree of seizure experienced can vary significantly. For some people seizures appear as a gentle brief loss of attention, while others may have violent contractions of the arms and legs which last for more than 10 minutes. The goal of therapy is to prevent seizure recurrence.
Treatment for epilepsy varies by type of seizure:generalized tonic-clonic, tonic or atonic, absence, myoclonic, or focal. More information on epilepsy can be found on the Epilepsy Canada website.
Medications for the treatment of epilepsy include:
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops in some people who have high levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid crystals form within joints, causing pain, tenderness, redness, warmth, and swelling. For many people, the first symptom of gout is excruciating pain and swelling in the big toe, but it may also appear in the ankle or knee.
There are two aims of gout treatment. The first is to relieve the symptoms of gout during an attack, and the second is to prevent more attacks occurring by controlling the levels of uric acid in the body. Treatment for gout includes eating a healthy diet, eliminating or reducing purine-rich foods, managing your weight and being physically active. More information can be found at the Arthritis Foundation Website.
Medications for the treatment of acute gout include:
Medications for the treatment of chronic gout include:
Heart failure occurs when the heart becomes damaged, and is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demand. There are many conditions that can damage or weaken the heart, such as a heart attack or high blood pressure. Minor exertion may cause someone with heart failure to experience discomfort and limitation to their normal physical activity. Although there is no cure for heart failure, managing high blood pressure and treating the cause of the heart failure can help slow the progression of the disease.
Medications for treatment of heart failure include:
The left and/or right side of the heart may fail resulting in a backup of fluid in the lungs and other parts of the body. A buildup of fluid in the ankles, feet, and legs can cause swelling. This buildup of fluid is called fluid retention. People with fluid retention may feel tired, be short of breath, have an irritating cough that does not go away, or appear confused.
Medications may be suggested to manage both heart failure and fluid retention.
Medications for the treatment of fluid retention due to heart failure include:
Hyperlipidemia is the term used to describe the condition of having too much fat (cholesterol and triglycerides) in the blood. Having high levels of fat in the blood can lead to a blockage in the flow of blood around your body.
Eating a healthy diet and increasing your level of activity are important first steps in lowering high cholesterol. For some people, lifestyle changes may not be enough to lower the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. If so, your health care professional will probably recommend medication.
Medications for the treatment of hyperlipidemia include:
People with high blood pressure (hypertension) are often unaware of it and they rarely have noticeable symptoms. Your heart pumps blood around your body to deliver energy and oxygen. A certain amount of pressure in your blood vessels is needed to do this. However, if there is too much pressure in your blood vessels, it puts extra strain on your arteries and heart, which can lead to serious conditions such as heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease, or stroke.
The only way of knowing there is a problem is to have your blood pressure checked. All adults should have their blood pressure checked regularly . Having this done is easy and could save your life.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and is recorded as two figures:
For example, if your physician says your blood pressure is “140 over 90”, or 140/90mmHg, it means you have a systolic pressure of 140mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 90mmHg.
Treatment for hypertension includes changes to your lifestyle. Lifestyle changes include eating a healthy diet, which may include reducing salt, managing your weight, stopping smoking, and being physically active. You may be prescribed medications to keep your blood pressure within a range agreed with your health professional.
Medications for the treatment of hypertension include:
A migraine is a severe headache that may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or sound. There are several types of migraine, including:
Some people find migraine attacks are associated with certain triggers, which can include starting their period, stress, tiredness, and certain foods or drinks.
There is no cure for migraines but medication can be used to treat the headaches when they occur. Avoiding things that trigger migraines can sometimes help reduce how often you get these headaches. Medication is also available to help prevent migraines, known as migraine prophylaxis. You may be prescribed these medications if you experience frequent or very severe migraine attacks.
Medications used in the treatment of migraine include:
Medications used in the prevention of migraine (migraine prophylaxis) include:
Osteoarthritis is a common condition that causes joints to become stiff and painful. Almost any joint can be affected, but the most commonly affected are the knees, hips and hands. Osteoarthritis is a long-term condition and can’t be cured, but the pain and swelling can be improved with lifestyle changes and medications.
The main treatments for osteoarthritis include lifestyle changes, medication to relieve your pain, and supportive therapies to help make everyday activities easier. Topical creams, painkillers and injectable medications can be effective at managing osteoarthritis. Due to the long-term nature of the condition, medication may be taken over many months. Certain pain relieving medications when taken long-term may have adverse effects on your stomach, therefore gastro-protective (stomach protecting) medications may also be suggested.
Medications used in the treatment of osteoarthritis include:
Losing bone strength is a normal part of the ageing process, but for some people it can lead to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures. Wrist fractures, hip fractures, and fractures of the vertebrae (bones in the spine) are the most common type of bone breaks that affect people with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis often has no symptoms and may only be diagnosed after you have broken a bone.
Treatment for osteoporosis is based using medication to strengthen bones and prevent fractures. Staying active and healthy – for example, through exercise and diet – is likely to keep you independent and reduce your risk of falling.
Medications used in the treatment of osteoporosis include:
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is characterized by damage to arteries outside the heart, causing reduced blood flow to different parts of the body. It is also known as peripheral vascular disease. The reduced blood flow is usually due to fatty deposits within the arteries which results in narrowing or enlargement of the blood vessels. When this occurs in the arteries to the legs, a person may experience a painful ache in their legs when they walk, which usually disappears after a few minutes’ rest. This pain is known as intermittent claudication and usually develops in the calves but may be in the hip, buttock, or thigh muscles. Blockages in the arteries that cause PAD can also affect other areas of your body, such as the arteries supplying the heart and brain, which increases your risk of developing another form of cardiovascular disease.
There is no cure for PAD, but lifestyle changes and medication can help reduce the symptoms.
Medications used for peripheral arterial disease include:
A myocardial infarction (MI) is also known as a heart attack. This occurs when the heart muscle does not receive enough blood or oxygen because one or more of the arteries leading to the heart are blocked. Early intervention and advances in therapy mean a lot more people are surviving from heart attacks.
The goal of treatment is to prevent another heart attack or cardiovascular event. Increasing physical activity and eating a healthy diet can help reduce the risk. If you smoke, it is important to quit. Please see SMOKING CESSATION for treatment options.
In addition to lifestyle changes, most people will take 5 medications to prevent a heart attack, including:
Some people may take additional drugs such as aldosterone antagonists or nitroglycerin therapy.
Medications for Post-MI include:
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are valuable medications for treating pain and inflammation in a number of conditions, including arthritis and low back pain. However, NSAIDs can irritate the stomach and cause ulcers or bleeding. If people are at high risk of this happening (also taking blood thinners or other medications that cause bleeding), there are medications available to protect the stomach.
Medications to prevent ulcers include:
Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis that is caused when your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your joints. This is a long-term inflammatory disorder that causes painful swelling and stiffness of the joints. Eventually, bones can wear away and the affected joints can change shape, which can make it hard to move those parts of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis may also affect organs and other body systems.
It is important to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis and begin treatment early on, so that medications can be started before there is lasting damage to joints and organs. Although there is no cure, medications can help improve the stiffness, pain, and swelling and make it easier to live a normal life. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS) are used soon after diagnosis to help slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis, but sometimes several medications will need to be tried before finding one that works the best for you.
Medications used for rheumatoid arthritis include:
Schizophrenia is a severe long-term mental health condition characterized by a variety of psychological symptoms. Some of these symptoms may include hallucinations, delusions, disordered thinking and changes in behavior. People with schizophrenia may have difficulty distinguishing their own thoughts and ideas from reality.
The goal of therapy is to relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia and enter remission. Many people are in remission for long periods of time but medication is helpful at preventing relapses in the future. People with schizophrenia are usually cared for by a community mental health team and therapy usually includes medication and psychological therapies tailored to the individual.
Medications for the treatment of schizophrenia include:
The decision to quit smoking is a big step to improving your health. It is never too late to quit and the benefits include reduction in cancer, heart and lung disease, and improved quality of life.
There are a number of treatment options to help you quit smoking. Medications and nicotine replacement therapy are just one part of the treatment plan. Setting a target quit date, telling everyone you are quitting, and behavioral support are just as important as medication.
Medications used to help quit smoking include:
A urinary tract infection is an infection caused by bacteria within any portion of the urinary system. When it is located in the bladder it is called cystitis; symptoms may include painful urination and frequent urination. If the kidneys are infected, it is called pyelonephritis and is usually accompanied with fever or back pain.
Urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics to resolve symptoms and prevent complications. A urine test may be needed to identify the infecting organism and to ensure that the prescribed antibiotic will work.
Medications used for urinary tract infections include:
For the full list of medications that TreatGx covers, please visit our desktop website.