Get answers to your heart disease prevention questions.
Accelerating angina; New-onset angina; Angina - unstable; Progressive angina
Your doctor may want you to check into the hospital to get some rest, have more tests, and prevent complications.
Blood thinners (antiplatelet drugs) are used to treat and prevent unstable angina. These medicines include aspirin and the prescription drug clopidogrel. Aspirin (and sometimes clopidogrel) may reduce the chance of a heart attack in certain patients.
During an unstable angina event:
Often if a blood vessel is found to be narrowed or blocked, a procedure called angioplasty and stenting can be done to open the artery.
Heart bypass surgery may be done for some people, depending on which, how many, and what parts of their coronary arteries are narrowed, and how severe the narrowings are.
Unstable angina is a sign of more severe heart disease.
How well you do depends on many different things, including:
Abnormal heart rhythms and heart attacks can cause sudden death.
Unstable angina may lead to:
Seek medical attention if you have new, unexplained chest pain or pressure. If you have had angina before, call your doctor.
Call 911 if your angina pain:
Call your doctor if:
If you think you are having a heart attack, get medical treatment right away.
Anderson JL, Adams CD, Antman EM, Bridges CR, Califf RM, Casey DE Jr., et al. ACC/AHA 2007 guidelines for the management of patients with unstable angina/non-ST-Elevation myocardial infarction: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Revise the 2002 Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Unstable Angina/Non-ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction) developed in collaboration with the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons endorsed by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007;50:e1-e157.
Cannon CP, Braunwald E. In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 56.
Montalescot G, Cayla G, Collet JP, Elhadad S, Beyqui F, Le Breton H, et al. Immediate vs. delayed intervention for acute coronary syndromes: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2009;302:947-954.
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