In America, millions of people take prescription heart medications, and that number is rising. One in three deaths in the United States are caused by cardiovascular disease. While heart medications are necessary if you have a condition, the prices can be a huge burden.
According to Million Hearts, about one in six health care dollars are spent on cardiovascular disease. Additionally, in 2011, heart disease cost the United States an estimated $316.6 billion in health care and loss of productivity. Without insurance, heart medications can seem impossible to afford.
Fortunately, by opting for generics over brand names and using our free printable pharmacy discount card, you can save money on your much-needed heart medications. To help you determine how much money you can actually save, we break down seven of the most popular types of heart medications and how much you can save on them using our pharmacy discount card or by purchasing generic versions.
Blood Thinners (Anticoagulants)
Despite their name, blood thinners do not actually thin the blood. They do, however, decrease the clotting ability of the blood, but they cannot obliterate existing blood clots.
Blood thinners help prevent future clots from forming in the blood vessels, and may help keep existing clots from growing larger. If you are at risk of stroke, or have had a stroke before, blood thinners can help prevent them.
Popular brand name blood thinner medications like Xarelto or Eliquis can cost hundreds of dollars without insurance or discounts. You can cut down on costs by choosing a generic option such as Jantoven (Warfarin), which provides the same benefits at a much lower cost—around $5 on average for a 5MG dosage with Community Cares Rx.
Similar to blood thinners, antiplatelet agents keep blood clots from forming. In addition, they also keep the blood platelets from sticking together. Patients who have had strokes, heart attacks, angina, and various other cardiovascular diseases can benefit from this medication. However, it is usually prescribed as a preventative measure to decrease the possibility of these diseases.
The retail price for Plavix, a popular antiplatelet agent, is more than $100 on average for a 75MG dosage, while other brand name versions, such as Brilinta or Effient, can cost several hundred dollars before insurance or discounts. Generic options are available for Plavix (Clopidogrel), Brilinta (Ticagrelor), and Effient (Prasugrel), which are available at much lower costs than their brand-name counterparts. For example, Clopidogrel can be purchased for around $5 with Community Cares Rx.
Angiotensin-converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors
ACE inhibitors expand the blood vessels, enabling blood to flow more easily, decrease resistance, and lower levels of angiotensin, a hormone that can increase blood pressure. This medication is often prescribed to people with high blood pressure.
While the ACE inhibitor Lotensin has an average retail price of around $26 (for 30 20MG tablets), opting for the generic version, Benazepril, can reduce your out of pocket cost to around $5. Zestril (Lisinopril) is another popular ACA inhibitor option that, for 30 10MG tablets, retails at approximately $20 for the brand name and $6 with Community Cares Rx.
Beta blockers block the effects of adrenaline, the hormone that triggers your body’s fight-or-flight response caused by stress and other high-pressure situations. By blocking adrenaline, beta blockers decrease your heart rate and cardiac output, which lowers your blood pressure and helps your heart beat slower and with less force.
Two commonly used brand name beta blockers are Toprol XL and Lopressor. Toprol XL retails for approximately $26 for 30 25MG tablets, while the same dosage of Lopressor sells for an average retail cost of $16. If you were to opt for the generic version of these two beta blockers, Metoprolol, your pharmacy bill would be in the $5 range with Community Cares Rx.
Calcium Channel Blockers
Calcium channel blockers are used to relax blood vessels and increase the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart, which reduces the heart’s workload. They work by interrupting the movement of calcium into the cells of the heart and blood vessels.
In terms of price, brand name calcium channel blockers Norvasc and Cardizem CD retail for approximately $40 and $35 respectively. Both of these medications have generic versions. The generic version of Norvasc, Amlodipine, typically goes for $7 for 30 5MG tablets, while the generic of Cardizem CD, Diltiazem, can be purchased for around $5 with Community Cares Rx.
Diuretics help rid your body of extra fluids and sodium, which helps relieve the heart, as well as other parts of the body, including the lungs. Diuretics help lower your blood pressure and reduce the swelling of the body.
Common brand name diuretics include Lasix and Esidrix can cost $12-$16 on average for 30 tablets. With Community Cares Rx, you can buy the generic version of Lasix, Furosemide, for a little over $6 and the generic version of Esidrix, Hydrochlorothiazide, for just under $5.
Vasodilators can be taken to relieve frequent chest pain. Vasodilators help relax the blood vessels and increase the supply of blood to the heart, so the heart doesn’t have to work as hard.
Hydralazine is a popular generic vasodilator. The Community Cares Rx price for 90 25MG tablets is around $5, while the average retail price is approximately $31. Isosobide Dinitrate, another vasodilator, has an average retail price of more than $80. With Community Cares Rx, your price for this medication would be approximately $6 for a 10MG dosage.
For more information on how the Community Cares Rx Pharmacy Discount Card can save you money on your heart medications, use our drug pricing calculator to see what discounts you can receive in your area.