Angina Symptoms (cont.)

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What is the treatment for angina?

Treatment for angina depends upon the cause and may include behavior modification, exercise, medication, and surgery.

Should the cause be ASHD, medications are used to help minimize progression of artery narrowing and plaque buildup. Medications can be also be used to decrease the oxygen requirements of the heart and to allow the heart muscle to function more efficiently.

Aspirin may be recommended to make platelets less sticky to prevent clot formation and prevent heart attack.

Long-acting nitroglycerin medications (Imdur, Nitropaste) may be prescribed to dilate coronary arteries and increase blood flow to the heart muscle. As well, nitroglycerin may be used to abort an episode of angina. In this case it may be taken as a tablet or spray under the tongue.

The best treatment for angina is prevention, especially if the cause is ASHD. Lifelong control of blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes will help prevent the development of plaque buildup within arteries not only in the heart but also the brain and peripheral arteries as well. Smoking cessation is mandatory.

Angioplasty and coronary artery bypass surgery

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When patients continue to have angina despite maximally tolerated combinations of nitroglycerin medications, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers, cardiac catheterization with coronary arteriography is indicated. Depending on the location and severity of the disease in the coronary arteries, patients can be referred for balloon angioplasty (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or PTCA with or without stents) or coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) to increase coronary artery blood flow.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/10/2013

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