Site Map

Heart attack - discharge

Myocardial infarction - discharge; MI - discharge; Coronary event - discharge; Infarct - discharge; Acute coronary syndrome - discharge; ACS - discharge

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a part of your heart is blocked long enough that part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies. This article discusses what you need to do to take care of yourself after you leave the hospital.

Images

Acute MI

I Would Like to Learn About:

When You're in the Hospital

You were in the hospital because you had a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a part of your heart is blocked long enough that part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies.

What to Expect at Home

You may feel sad. You may feel anxious and as though you have to be very careful about what you do. All of these feelings are normal. They go away for most people after 2 or 3 weeks. You may also feel tired when you leave the hospital to go home.

Activity

You should know the signs and symptoms of angina.

Know how to treat your chest pain when it happens. Talk with your health care provider about what to do.

Take it easy for the first 4 to 6 weeks.

You should be able to talk comfortably when you are doing any activity, such as walking, setting the table, and doing laundry. If you cannot, stop the activity.

Ask your provider about when you can return to work. Expect to be away from work for at least a week.

Talk to your provider before engaging in sexual activity. Ask your provider when it is OK to start again. DO NOT take Viagra, Levitra, Cialis or any herbal remedy for erection problems without checking with your provider first.

How long you will have to wait to return to your normal activities will depend on:

Diet and Lifestyle

DO NOT drink any alcohol for at least 2 weeks. Ask your provider when you may start. Limit how much you drink. Women should have only 1 drink a day, and men should have no more than 2 a day. Try to drink alcohol only when you are eating.

If you smoke, stop. Ask your provider for help quitting if you need it. DO NOT let anybody smoke in your home, since second-hand smoke can harm you. Try to stay away from things that are stressful for you. If you are feeling stressed all the time, or if you are feeling very sad, talk with your provider. They can refer you to a counselor.

Learn more about what you should eat to make your heart and blood vessels healthier.

Taking Your Heart Medicines

Have your drug prescriptions filled before you go home. It is very important that you take your drugs the way your provider told you to. DO NOT take any other drugs or herbal supplements without asking your provider first if they are safe for you.

Take your medicines with water. DO NOT take them with grapefruit juice, since it may change how your body absorbs certain medicines. Ask your provider or pharmacist for more information about this.

The medicines below are given to most people after they have had a heart attack. Sometimes there is a reason they may not be safe to take, though. These medicines help prevent another heart attack. Talk with your provider if you are not already on any of these medicines:

DO NOT suddenly stop taking these medicines for your heart. DO NOT stop taking medicines for your diabetes, high blood pressure, or any other medical conditions you may have without talking with your provider first.

If you are taking a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin), you may need to have extra blood tests on a regular basis to make sure your dose is correct.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider if you feel:

Changes in your angina may mean your heart disease is getting worse. Call your provider if your angina:

Related Information

Heart bypass surgery
Angioplasty and stent placement - carotid artery
Heart bypass surgery - minimally invasive
Ventricular assist device
Cardiac ablation procedures
Heart pacemaker
Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
Heart attack
Unstable angina
High blood cholesterol levels
High blood pressure - adults
Tips on how to quit smoking
Deep vein thrombosis - discharge
ACE inhibitors
Angina - when you have chest pain
Angina - discharge
Heart attack - discharge
Angioplasty and stent - heart - discharge
Aspirin and heart disease
Cholesterol - drug treatment
Being active when you have heart disease
Butter, margarine, and cooking oils
Cardiac catheterization - discharge
Heart pacemaker - discharge
Cholesterol and lifestyle
Antiplatelet drugs - P2Y12 inhibitors
Controlling your high blood pressure
Heart bypass surgery - discharge
Heart bypass surgery - minimally invasive - discharge
Dietary fats explained
Fast food tips
Heart disease - risk factors
How to read food labels
Implantable cardioverter defibrillator - discharge
Low-salt diet
Mediterranean diet
Being active after your heart attack
High blood pressure - what to ask your doctor
Heart attack - what to ask your doctor
Taking warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) - what to ask your doctor
Taking warfarin (Coumadin)

References

Amsterdam EA, Wenger NK, Brindis RG, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC guideline for the management of patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on practice guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64(24):e139-e228. PMID: 25260718 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25260718.

Bohula EA, Morrow DA. ST-elevation myocardial infarction: management. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 59.

Fihn SD, Gardin JM, Abrams J, et al. 2012 ACCF/AHA/ACP/AATS/PCNA/SCAI/STS guideline for the diagnosis and management of patients with stable ischemic heart disease: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on practice guidelines, and the American College of Physicians, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Circulation. 2014;130:1749-1767. PMID: 25070666 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25070666.

Giugliano RP, Braunwald E. Non-ST elevation acute coronary syndromes. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 60.

Mauri L, Bhatt DL. Percutaneous coronary intervention. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 62.

Morrow DA, de Lemos JA. Stable ischemic heart disease. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 61.

O'Gara PT, Kushner FG, Ascheim DD, et al. 2013 ACCF/AHA guideline for the management of ST-elevation myocardial infarction: executive summary: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on practice guidelines. Circulation. 2013;127(4):529-555. PMID: 23247303 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23247303.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 7/25/2018  

Reviewed By: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2019 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.