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Old 03-05-2013, 07:34 AM   #1
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Managing Angina?

If you have angina, what do you do for it? What works, what doesn't?

I've been dealing with stable angina for nigh onto 25 years (gosh, time passes quickly) and got almost a year of complete relief with an angioplasty.

But then slowly the symptoms returned once a month, once a week. I've managed with nitro pills under the tongue but then they suddenly got priced to the heavens and their shelf life is less than cookie on the table. Then I tried the sprays which last a lot longer.

But now the rate of attacks is getting more frequent culmination on Sunday with TWO in one day even after a morning propranolol. This escalation has me scared. So I pulled out some atenolol, a drug I have hated becasuse of exhaustion and insomia and I am on day 2 and planning a trip to the gym.

I have tried only one calcium channel blocker long, long ago (Norvasc-amlodipine) and truly hated it...it made my ankles swell, a really scary side-effect. Anyone try any of the others like verapamil, nicardipine, nifedipine, or diltiazem? I think my future will lie with one of them.

I am dreading another percutaneous procedure...the first one was SO unpleasant, so I will try to avoid it as a last resort. CABG is completely off my radar...I won't be split open.

Last edited by Voxx976; 03-05-2013 at 07:38 AM.

 
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:04 AM   #2
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Re: Managing Angina?

You are having serious escalation of angina which generally precedes a heart attack. Not saying this to scare you, just to help you realize the seriousness of preinfarction angina. The last thing you should be doing right now is working out strenuously. You should see your cardiologist today! There are many meds that can dilate the coronary arteries. In my mind having an angioplasty is less awful than a heart attack, and you may get good relief for years from it and remain functional. If you survive a heart attack, the heart muscle becomes weaker and often interferes with your ability to tolerate exertion. A whole host of life altering changes can ensue, not for the better. You truly are on the verge of disaster, and should see your cardiologist immediately. You have the ultimate choice, but do you want to gamble with your life? I'd take it very easy, no gym, jogging, exertion until this is taken care of.

 
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:00 AM   #3
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Re: Managing Angina?

Thank you for the very good advice.

 
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:36 AM   #4
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Re: Managing Angina?

I started daily atenolol...hate the stuff.
But angina down to ZERO attacks in the last week even with a brisk mile walk.

Saw the doctor and he recommended a nuclear stress test and Rx'd some dinitrate pills which I just got (and haven't used yet.)

But if the atenolol works without making me comatose, perhaps it is what I will stick with. But the beta-blaocker dreams I remember from years back are really something to contend with and they are back full force.

 
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:28 AM   #5
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Re: Managing Angina?

I'm so glad you are free of angina now, and can even walk without pain! I take atenolol too, but have no side effects from it. I hope your weird dreams settle down and you adjust to it. If not, nifedipine is used also for angina, and may not make you swell like the amlodipine did. The calcium channel blockers can cause constipation (not always, of course), so to be free of the angina, you might have to put up with some nuisance. If your med gets changes, you might ask for samples to try, so you don't waste money on RXs in case you can't tolerate them. Good luck with your tests and further treatment!

 
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:56 PM   #6
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Re: Managing Angina?

Voxx976, you say "CABG is completely off my radar...I won't be split open." I suspect you do not really know a lot about CABG. My CABG was like an engine rebuild and 13 years latter I continue to be Angina free, I have lived 30 years longer than my father who died on his 43rd birthday in 1953. I smoked for 45 years and stopped at age 60, 18 months before my CABG. I couldn't walk 50 yards without using my puffer and was a real mess. For the uninformed, a CABG is a Cardiac Artery Bypass Graph, or in my case a Triple bypass. It is the best thing that has happened to me in my 73 years and so far I have not got the slightest inkling of Angina. It does require 6 weeks off work for an Office worker, or 3 months for a physical type job which I had as a Mechanical Fitter. I would urge anybody suffering from Angina to check out a CABG and give it serious consideration. Even at my age now I would go through it again, but seem to be on Easy Street, YEEHAARRRR. Maybe it is like childbirth, you forget about it after 6 or 12 months and am ready for another dose.

 
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:43 AM   #7
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Re: Managing Angina?

I'm with simo467,

I had a triple bypass in 2009 at age 52 and couldn't feel better.
The surgery itself was a breeze, nothing like I expected, recovery was long but as said you tend to forget.

CABG can save your life - blocked/narrowed arteries can kill in an instant.
My father died at age 44.

I'd really have the bypass done if that's what been suggested.

Good Luck.

 
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:11 PM   #8
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Re: Managing Angina?

Vyking, another intersesting thing that happened to me was, when I returned to work, they said we are not renewing your contract. The idiots thought I would be a wreck, as it turned out I was probably at least of doublt fitness and abibilty and incredibly more capable than before the Opp. So I retired at 62 instead of 65 which was good and bad. Good because I started my relaxed new life early. Not so good because I had plans of things to do in those last few years to ptretare for retirement. The bottom line is at 73 I can still go fishing and get up on the roof to fix something so isn't all bad.

 
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:54 AM   #9
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Re: Managing Angina?

I'm doing alright.
No, nobpdy has ever suggested CABG, I have one RCA stent 9 years old.
I am angina free with 50 mg. atenolol (25-25) and ALMOST angina free with a single 25 mg. atenolol.
I TRIED a switch to dinitrate and had a bad angina attack...back to atenolol.

I am 70 but am a weightlifter and an active cycler and just hate the fact of having to slow down.

So it seems the short term will involve a nuclear stress test in the next weeks and we will go from there.

Opinion?
Latest research seems to show the same results from drug treatment as with percutaneous angioplasty and stenting.
I am leaning towards pushing for the former but I am so wary of the side effect of these aging drugs that tend towards weakening the heart, causing exhaustion, weight gain, impotence, loss of libido...which they really DO.

I guess I am having trouble with just turning 79 and suddenly getting OLD.
But then I guess getting old and slow is better than NOT getting old. Sad.

 
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:55 AM   #10
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Re: Managing Angina?

I'm doing alright.
No, nobpdy has ever suggested CABG, I have one RCA stent 9 years old.
I am angina free with 50 mg. atenolol (25-25) and ALMOST angina free with a single 25 mg. atenolol.
I TRIED a switch to dinitrate and had a bad angina attack...back to atenolol.

I am 70 but am a weightlifter and an active cycler and just hate the fact of having to slow down.

So it seems the short term will involve a nuclear stress test in the next weeks and we will go from there.

Opinion?
Latest research seems to show the same results from drug treatment as with percutaneous angioplasty and stenting.
I am leaning towards pushing for the former but I am so wary of the side effect of these aging drugs that tend towards weakening the heart, causing exhaustion, weight gain, impotence, loss of libido...which they really DO.

I guess I am having trouble with just turning 70 and suddenly getting OLD.
But then I guess getting old and slow is better than NOT getting old. Sad.

 
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:13 AM   #11
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Re: Managing Angina?

PostScript:

All done: Skipped stress test and went right to angiogram. Ramus artery was 95% blocked (which of course means 100%.) Got it opened and stented and I feel fine.
Now to wean from the atenolol, finally up to 75 mg. a day... probably a 3 month task.
I had intended to try the drug route to manage stable angina but it got to 2 attacks a day and then even about 6bouts that woke me from sleep. Almost by definition, that's as UNSTABLE as angina gets.

The joy of stent 2 was having it done through my wrist instead of my groin, a significant advance which my surgeon was instrumental in pioneering.

Lord, is it terrific being able to walk up a hill without worry and pain.

Really good news is that all my other arteries look better than they did 9 years ago...God bless atorvastatin.

Last edited by Voxx976; 07-02-2013 at 07:29 AM.

 
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:58 AM   #12
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Re: Managing Angina?

So happy for you that you got taken care of and can do the things you want now. You'll feel even better with less atenolol. You are lucky the stent got placed before an infarct occurred. A new lease on life!

 
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:31 AM   #13
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Re: Managing Angina?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladybud View Post
So happy for you that you got taken care of and can do the things you want now. You'll feel even better with less atenolol. You are lucky the stent got placed before an infarct occurred. A new lease on life!
July 3, 1:15 AM, SUDDEN STARTLING PAIN: no response to 3 doses of nitro...Heart attack.

Called Cath lab "Here I come" and jumped in a cab...12 minutes to "Urgent Care" at NYU where they kept me stable on oxygen, nitro and heparin...and woke my poor surgeon who came racing from one state to another.

Stenting of main Ramus artery had caused plaque to move into smaller branch. (How nice to have 2 arteries when most people have none...like having a bunch of extra appendices whose only function is infection.)


They banged through the blockage and two more stents. The branches of the smaller Ramus a really, REALLY small but painful to dig into.

Full recovery...pain of the wiring and prodding procedure stopped in about 14 hours.

Home after a one day stay.


Gosh it's been a fun week

I feel fine and both ECG and treponin levels show no heart damage.

In went for a short walk...no problem except it's in the 90's in Manhattan with rain forest humidity. Cut walk short out of common sense.


I gotta say, I often gripe about how the world has changed for the worse over 7 decades...but I am grateful for the medical advances and the people who got their hands directly from God.

Last edited by Voxx976; 07-05-2013 at 10:43 AM.

 
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:24 AM   #14
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Re: Managing Angina?

WOW, you had your own private fireworks going on for July 4! What a story. Sorry all that happened, but once again, glad you got help immediately and had a successful procedure to fix it. You are one lucky man, and resilient, and grateful. A good combo. It is nice to hear people's success stories, and not just complaints, about the medical profession. Thanks for the update, and stay out of trouble now!

 
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