Although angina’s cardinal symptom is chest pain, the drugs used to treat angina aren’t typically analgesics.
Instead, antianginal drugs treat angina by reducing myocar-dial oxygen demand (reducing the amount of oxygen the heart needs to do its work), by increasing the supply of oxygen to the heart, or both. (See How antianginal drugs work.)
The three classes of antianginal drugs discussed in this section include:
§ nitrates (for treating acute angina)
· beta-adrenergic blockers (for long-term prevention of angina)
· calcium channel blockers (used when other drugs fail to pre-vent angina).