Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Heart disease health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article

Angina (chest pain)


How is angina treated?

The angina treatment you receive depends on the severity of the underlying problem, namely the amount of damage to the heart. For most people with mild angina, a combination of drugs and lifestyle changes can control the symptoms. Lifestyle changes include: eating a heart-healthy diet, lowering cholesterol, getting regular exercise, stopping smoking, and controlling diabetes and high blood pressure.

Some drugs used to treat angina work by either increasing the amount of oxygen delivered to the heart muscle or reducing the heart's need for oxygen. These medicines include:

Other angina drugs work to prevent the formation of blood clots, which can further block blood flow to the heart muscle. These medicines include:

For people with more severe or worsening angina, your doctor may recommend treatment to open blocked arteries. These include:

  • Angioplasty
  • Stenting
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery
  • External counterpulsation (EECP)

What should I do if I have angina?

With any type of angina, stop what you are doing and rest.

If you have been prescribed a medication called glyceryl trinitrate (GTN/nitroglycerin) to treat your angina, take one or two sprays under the tongue. If using the tablet form, place it under your tongue.

If you still have angina after resting and taking doses of glyceryl trinitrate as directed by your doctor, call 999 or get someone to take you to the nearest accident and emergency department if this would be quicker.

If you think you are having a heart attack, do not delay. Call for emergency help right away. Do not drive yourself to the hospital. Consider taking an aspirin. Quick treatment of a heart attack is very important to lessen the amount of damage to your heart.

If you have angina, carry your glyceryl trinitrate with you at all times; you never know when you will need it.

Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on June 25, 2014

Heart disease newsletter

The latest heart health news and information, delivered to your inbox.
Sign Up

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman washing face
Prevent & treat flare-ups
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
female patient consulting with female GP
Take action for a healthy baby
couple watching sunset
How much do you know?
cold sore
Prevent and treat cold sores
smiling african american woman
Best kept secrets of healthy hair
assorted spices
Pump up the flavour with spices
10 tips to lose weight after baby
crossword puzzle
Tips for the first hard days
sperm and egg
Facts to help you get pregnant
african american woman wiping sweat from forehead
Relief from excessive sweating
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting