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Drugs for angina pectoris


Since we discussed the use of drugs for the treatment of angina ten years ago1 several new drugs have become available, the β-blockers being the most important. These have largely displaced the long-acting nitrates for regular prophylactic administration, and furthermore their action has helped to confirm the view we expressed earlier1 that anti-anginal drugs act by reducing cardiac work and not by dilating coronary arteries. Drug therapy of angina has thus undergone important changes in both concept and use. An additional reason for reviewing the efficacy of drugs marketed for this condition is that for patients who fail to respond to drugs the possibility of coronary-artery bypass surgery can now be considered.2

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