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Pharmacological Basis (NUR 3192) Antianginal Medications

John Marsh
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Pharm Exam #2 – Antianginal drugs, heart failure drugs, antidysrhythmic drugs

  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Pharmacological Basis For Nursing Interventions II (NUR 3192)

Exam #2
Ch. 23 Antianginal Drugs
Angina medications are used for angina pectoris or chest pain. The types of chest pain are
chronic stable angina (which is associated with atherosclerosis), unstable angina (early stage of
progressive coronary artery disease), and vasospastic angina (which results from spasms in the
layer of smooth muscle that surrounds atherosclerotic coronary arteries).
The three main classes of drugs used to treat angina pectoris are nitrates and nitrites, betablockers, and calcium channel blockers.
The goal of the treatment is:
1. Minimize the frequency of attacks and decrease the duration and intensity of angina pain
2. Improve the patient’s functional capacity with as few adverse effects as possible
3. Increase blood flow to ischemic heart muscle and decrease myocardial oxygen demand
4. Prevent or delay the worst possible outcome, which is a myocardial infarction
Nitrates and Nitrites
Nitrates are available on many forms including sublingual, chewable tablets, oral
capsules/tablets, IV solutions, transdermal patches, ointments and translingual sprays. They are
broken down into rapid-acting forms and long-acting forms. The rapid-acting forms include
sublingual and IV solutions. These are used to treat acute angina attacks. The long-acting forms
are used to prevent angina episodes.
Mechanism of Action
Nitrates dilate all blood vessels; however, they predominately affect venous vascular beds and
have a dose-dependent arterial vasodilator effect. This vasodilation happens because of
relaxation of smooth muscle cells



Pharmacological Basis (NUR 3192) Antianginal Medications

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