- The pain or tightness associated with angina results from ischemia, or an imbalance between the amount of oxygen the heart needs and the amount of oxygenated blood the heart receives. This is generally due to blockages in the coronary arteries.
- The goals of drug therapy for angina are to relieve ischemia, reducing the frequency and severity of anginal attacks, and to prevent a heart attack.
- Medications that control angina symptoms and ischemia include nitrates, beta-blockers and calcium-channel blockers. Doctors use anti-platelet agents (aspirin and others) and lipid-lowering agents (statins and others) to help prevent the heart disease that causes angina from contributing to a heart attack.
Angina pectoris is chest pain or discomfort that results when insufficient blood reaches the heart muscle, generally caused by coronary heart disease, an accumulation of a waxy substance called plaque inside the coronary blood vessels, which are the major blood vessels for the heart.