Angina

Angina is chest discomfort caused by lack of oxygen to the heart muscle. It is a warning sign that there is a blood flow problem to your heart. Angina is referred to as either stable or unstable. Stable angina often happens with the same kind of activity, lasts a few minutes, and feels the same each time. Unstable angina has no pattern, no warning, lasts longer, and is more serious. Unstable angina might predict a heart attack.

HOME CARE

  • Understand how to take your medicine and what side effects to expect.

  • Do not stop the medicines.

  • Do not change how much you take (dosage) on your own.

  • Write down any side effects. Tell your doctor what they are.

  • Mild exercise may help. Start exercising only as told by your doctor.

  • You can still have a sexual relationship if it does not cause angina. Tell your doctor if it does.

  • Stop smoking. Do no t use gum or patches that help people quit smoking until you check with your doctor.

  • Lose weight if you are overweight. Eat a heart-healthy diet that is low in fat and salt.

  • Keep all follow-up visits with your doctor. This is important!

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • Your angina seems to happen more often or lasts longer.

  • You are having side effects from your medicine.

  • Your chest pain spreads to the arms, back, neck, or jaw (especially if the pain is crushing or pressure-like).

  • You are sweating, feel sick to your stomach (nauseous), or have shortness of breath.

  • You have an attack that does not get better after rest or taking medicine.

  • You wake from sleep with chest pain.

  • You feel dizzy, faint, or feel very tired (fatigued).

  • You have chest pain that is different from your usual angina.

Any of these problems may be a sign of a serious problem that is an emergency. Do not wait to see if the problems will go away. Get medical help right away. Call your local emergency services (911 in U.S.). Do not drive yourself to the hospital.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.