In ischemic heart disease, drug therapy with Nitrates is the most common. The chemical substances function by dilating the dysfunctional coronary arteries. Nitrates are administrated sub-lingual and are effective having the effect of relieving the pain in a short amount of time.
For example Isosorbide Dinitrate and Isosorbide Mononitrate are Nitrates common used in the treatment of ischemic heart disease. These drugs have also a prophylactic purpose because they prevent the pain.
Other types of drugs used in the treatment of ischemic heart disease are the so called beta-blockers like Propranolol, highly effective in stopping the pain. They function by reducing the myocardial oxygen demand. Beta –blockers function by decreasing the heart rate. Also calcium channel antagonists can be used because they are very effective, producing vasodilatation that leads to relieve of the pain and of the other symptoms like chest discomfort, pain in the upper part of the body, arms, and difficulties of breathing. It reduces the excitability and conductivity of the cardiac muscle due to blood pressure reduction.
In the case of patients suffering of hypercholesterolemia, drugs for lowering cholesterol level are recommended. In severe cases, surgical therapy has to be used, but only when medical treatment fails to stop the symptoms. Surgical intervention is highly recommended when the Angiogram shows strong symptoms of the disease at the blood vessels level. Coronary Angioplasty is one of the frequent surgicalprocedures used in ischemic heart disease treatment and improves the blood flow in the heart helping the patient to have a normal life. It consists in the dilatation of the narrowed or blocked vessel by inflating a balloon inside the dysfunctional vessel.
The procedure reduces heart damages caused by a stroke. Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting also known as CABG is a surgical procedure also known as revascularization used in severe cases of coronary artery disease and it consists in the replacing of the dysfunctional coronary artery with a so called graft, a healthy vein or artery taken from the patient’s chest or leg. The graft bypasses the narrowed area, and relieves the blood blockage. In spite of its many advantages, recommendations for bypass surgery are lower due to the fact that scientists have proved that, bypass surgery improves patients’ quality of life by eliminating the symptoms but it doesn’t increase life expectancy. In modern medicine the emphasis is on medical treatment and techniques like angioplasty. With proper treatment, most patients will be able to lead normal and healthy lives.
The treatment must involve advice regarding a change in patients’ life style, avoiding unhealthy behavior like smoking, alcoholism and unhealthy diet. In the case of diabetes and hypertension strict control is required in order to achieve the best results and increase life expectancy.