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Clin Cardiol. 1994 Aug;17(8):415-21.

Concomitant use of nitrates, calcium channel blockers, and beta blockers for optimal antianginal therapy.

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Department of Medicine, State University of New York Health Sciences Center, Stony Brook 11794-8171.


Despite the introduction of new mechanical techniques for revascularization, pharmacologic therapy continues to be the mainstay of antianginal therapy. The conventional antianginal medications, which include nitrates, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers, act to correct the imbalance between myocardial supply and demand by increasing coronary blood flow, reducing myocardial oxygen requirements, or both. All three are appropriate for the management of angina caused by a fixed coronary obstruction, but nitrates and calcium channel blockers, which not only reduce demand but also increase supply, are preferred in cases of angina believed to involve a significant increase in vasomotor tone. Because of the different yet complementary mechanisms of action of the three classes of anti-ischemic drugs, use of these agents in combination is a rational approach to the treatment of angina unresponsive to monotherapy. Such combinations have been shown to enhance the therapeutic response achieved with single-agent therapy. In addition, the pharmacologic action of one of the components of the combination regimen may serve to offset side effects typically associated with the other.

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