Angina is a condition of acute chest pain which arises due to insufficient supply of blood to heart. It can be treated in various ways like lifestyle change, medical treatment, surgery or all three combined. It depends upon your health and preference that your doctor will prescribe one for you.
Medical treatment for angina is mostly done to achieve:
- Immediate relief from pain.
- Prevent future episodes of Angina symptoms.
- Minimize risk of having a heart attack.
If you have a serious heart condition like possibility of a heart attack, along with other complications like diabetes, then your doctor will probably suggest you surgery and medical treatment. But if the risk of a heart attack is less, then your angina can probably be treated with lifestyle changes and medication.
Glyceryl tri-nitrate is a medicine that dilutes your arteries and makes them wider. Thus easing the flow of blood and giving relief from Angina.
It is available in tablet as well as spray form. After one dose of tablet or spray you have to wait for five minutes before taking another dose. If the symptoms persist after three such doses, call for medical help as it can be a heart attack.
Glyceryl trinitrate can cause dizziness and headache. Do not consume alcohol after taking glyceryl trinitrate as it can worsen the side effects.
They slow down the heart beat and pace. Thus need of oxygen and blood by the heart is dropped and angina is prevented. Common side effects of beta-blockers are tiredness, cold hands and feet, diarrhea and feeling sick. It can also lead to erectile dys-functioning in males. They can also react with other medicines, so consult your doctor before combining it with other medication.
Long acting nitrates function the same way as glyceryl trinitrate except that they are used for a long term treatment of angina. Side effects like head-ache and flushed face usually diminish over time. Do not take the anti-erectile dysfunction medication known as sildenafil (Viagra) if you are using long acting nitrates, as this combination can lead to dangerous drop in blood pressure.
They work by relaxing the muscles of the arteries and thus increasing blood supply to heart. Side effects are- flushed face, headaches, dizziness, tiredness and skin rashes.
Never drink grapefruit juice if you are using calcium blockers as it can lead to a drop in blood pressure.
Ranexa can be used alone or in combination with other angina medicines like calcium channel blockers, nitroglycerin and beta blockers. Common symptoms are constipation, dizziness and weakness.
It is a potassium channel blocker and works in the same way as calcium channel blocker i.e. by widening the coronary arteries. However, potassium channel activators achieve the effect in a different way, thus they can be utilized by people who cannot have calcium channel blockers. Dizziness, headache and feeling-sick are the side effect of Nicorandil.
Surgery is prescribed only when your angina symptoms do not respond to the medication or if there is a high risk of a heart attack. You will need to take medications after surgery.
There are two main types of surgeries that can treat angina.
• Coronary artery bypass graft- where a section of blood vessel is taken from another part of the body and used to re-route the flow of blood passed a blocked or narrow section of artery.
• Angioplasty- where a narrowed section of artery is widened using a tiny tube called a stent.
Read more articles on Heart Health.