Get answers to your heart disease prevention questions.
Variant angina; Angina - variant; Prinzmetal's angina; Vasospastic angina
The goal of treatment is to control chest pain and prevent a heart attack. A medicine called nitroglycerin can relieve an episode of pain.
Your health care provider may prescribe other medications to prevent chest pain. You may need a group of medicines called calcium channel blockers long-term. Your doctor may prescribe long-acting nitrates along with the calcium channel blockers.
Beta-blockers are another type of medication that may be used. However, in some cases, beta-blockers may be harmful (especially if used along with cocaine).
Coronary artery spasm is a chronic condition. However, treatment usually helps control symptoms.
The disorder may be a sign that you have a high risk for heart attacks or potentially deadly irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias). The outlook is generally good if you follow your doctor's treatment recommendations and avoid certain triggers.
Immediately call your local emergency number (such as 911) or go to the hospital emergency room if you have a history of angina and the crushing or squeezing chest pain is not relieved by nitroglycerin. The pain may be due to a heart attack. Rest and nitroglycerin do not completely relieve the pain of a heart attack.
A heart attack is a medical emergency. If you have symptoms of a heart attack, seek immediate medical help.
Cannon CP, Braunwald E. Unstable angina and non-ST elevation myocardial infarction. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2007:chap 53.
Stern S, Bayes de Luna A. Coronary artery spasm: a 2009 update. Circulation. 2009 May 12;119(18):2531-4.
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