The effect of having a heart attack or stroke or even a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) can be devastating. Most people indicate that coming that close to a potentially fatal situation, made them feel enormously vulnerable and many of them felt helpless. However, with most non-communicable diseases, if you intervene in time, there is a lot you can do to improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of having another event. Both diet and lifestyle are major contributors to the prevention of another episode, but medication will also be compulsory. Some heart-attack survivors reform their lifestyles and diet so radically and effectively that they only need to take the minimum medications, but for others the reliance on polypharmacy is simply a fact of life together with the diet and lifestyle changes. Either way, it is important to know what these drugs do in the body, how they work and what their potential side effects could be.