Treatment for unstable angina seeks to stabilize
your condition and prevent a heart attack.
Treatment for a heart
attack seeks to limit the amount of permanent damage to your heart.
If you are experiencing an episode of unstable angina or a heart
attack, your doctor will consider using several different medicines. These
medicines will help you by:
Getting more blood and oxygen to your heart muscle. Unstable angina causes chest pain because your heart
muscle is being deprived of blood and oxygen, and a heart attack damages your
heart for the same reason. Medicines that help get more oxygen to your heart
muscle can help relieve the pain or keep the heart muscle alive and prevent
Stopping the blood clot in your coronary artery from growing larger. If a blood clot has partially blocked your
coronary artery, medicines that attack the clot can prevent the clot from getting
bigger and completely blocking your artery, which reduces your risk for
developing an actual heart attack. If your artery is already blocked, these
medicines can prevent the clot from getting bigger while you are waiting for
more extensive treatment to restore blood flow through or around the blocked
Reducing the stress on your heart. The harder your
heart must work, the more oxygen it needs. Medicines that reduce the stress on
your heart can reduce the heart's need for oxygen and relieve the pain and
damage that a lack of oxygen causes. Several medicines do this by opening up
your blood vessels, slowing your heart rate, or lowering your blood pressure.
Less pressure in your blood vessels makes it easier for your heart to pump
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.