Month: May 2014

Unstable and Stable Angina

There are two different kinds of angina. Stable angina occurs due to a fixed or stable obstruction of blood supply in one or more of the coronary arteries. Unstable angina refers to angina that is less predictable and doesn’t appear to be tied to what you are doing at the time of the attack. In these cases angina can occur even when you are resting or asleep.
Nitrate compounds are a class of drugs commonly used to dilate the blood vessels: the best known is nitroglycerin. Nitrates relax both the veins (reducing the amount of blood that returns to the ventricles of the heart and thus lessening the work of pumping) and the coronary arteries (increasing the blood supply to the heart muscle).
Calcium channel blockers (eg Norvasc) work by blocking the constriction of the arteries, thus keeping the vessels dilated (open) and improving blood flow. They are often prescribed as an addition to a regimen consisting of a beta blocker and a nitrate.