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Antiangina drugs are medicines that relieve the symptoms of angina pectoris (severe chest pain).
The dull, tight chest pain of angina occurs when the heart's muscular wall is not getting enough oxygen. By relaxing the blood vessels, antiangina drugs reduce the heart's work load and increase the amount of oxygen-rich blood that reaches the heart. These drugs come in different forms, and are used in three main ways:
Not every form of antiangina drug can be used in every way. Some work too slowly to prevent attacks that are about to begin or to relieve attacks that have already started. These forms can be used only to reduce the number of attacks. Be sure to understand how and when to use the type of antiangina drug that has been prescribed.
Antiangina drugs, also known as nitrates, come in many different forms: tablets and capsules that are swallowed; tablets that are held under the tongue, inside the lip, or in the cheek until they dissolve; stick-on patches; ointment; and in-the-mouth sprays. Commonly used antiangina drugs include isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil, Sorbitrate, and other brands) and nitroglycerin (Nitro-Bid, Nitro-Dur, Nitrolingual Spray, Nitrostat Tablets, Transderm-Nitro, and other brands). These medicines are available only with a physician's prescription.
The recommended dosage depends on the type and form of antiangina drug and may be different for different patients. Check with the physician who prescribed the drug or the pharmacist who filled the prescription for the correct dosage.
Always take antiangina drugs exactly as directed. The medicine will not work if it is not taken correctly.
Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly after taking it for several weeks or more, as this could cause angina
|Brand Name (Generic Name)||Possible Common Side Effects Include:|
|Calan (calan SR, isoptin, isoptin SR, verelan)||Constipation, dizziness, fatigue, headache, fluid retention, low blood pressure, nausea|
|Cardene (nicardipine hydrochloride)||Dizziness, headache, indigestion, nausea, rapid heartbeat, sleepiness, swelling of feet, flushing|
|Cardizem (diltiazem hydrochloride)||Dizziness, fluid retention, headache, nausea, rash|
|Corgard (nadolol)||Behaviorial changes, dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness|
|Imdur, Ismo, Monoket (isosorbide mononitrate)||Headache|
|Isordil (isosorbide dinitrate)||Headache, dizziness, low blood pressure|
|Lopressor (metroprolol tartrate)||Depression, diarrhea, itching, rash, tiredness|
|Nitro-Bid, Nitro-Dur, Nitrolingual Spray, Nitrostat Tables, Transderm-Nitro (nitroglycerin)||Dizziness, flushing, headache|
|Norvasc (amlodipine besylate)||Dizziness, fatigue, fluid retention, headache, palpitations|
|Procardia, Procardia XL, Adalat (nifedipine)||Constipation, dizziness, hearburn, low blood pressure, moodiness, nausea, swelling|
|Tenormin (atenolol)||Dizziness, fatigue, nausea, slowed heartbeat|
attacks to return. If it is necessary to stop taking the drug, check with the physician who prescribed it for instructions on how to taper down gradually.
Author Info: Nancy Ross-Flanigan, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit, Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 2002
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