After your doctor has diagnosed your angina, he or she can prescribe medicines to prevent or reduce your symptoms. There are medicines that can increase the supply of blood to your heart. There are also other medicines that can decrease your heart's demand for oxygen. Taking medicine allows your heart to function better with the reduced flow of blood that results from atherosclerosis. Be sure to take the medicines exactly as prescribed.
If your doctor has prescribed nitroglycerin, carry it with you at all times. Also, be sure your nitroglycerin is fresh - no older than 6 months. Take it at once if you feel chest discomfort. You do not need to worry about becoming addicted to this medicine. This medicine widens blood vessels and allows more blood to reach the heart. Get immediate medical care if the chest pain is not relieved with nitroglycerin.
In some cases, medicine alone will not be enough to treat angina. If this is true for you, your doctor may recommend angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery.