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Side Effects of
Antianginal Medications


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Description: Antianginal medications are used in the treatment and prevention of chest pain and pressure in the heart (angina). They fall into the following sub-categories: nitrates, beta blockers (which are used off-label for other conditions), and calcium channel blockers. Antianginal drugs are associated with a number of side effects dependent on the class, subclass or even specific drug.

Nitrates side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Syncope (fainting)
  • Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
  • Chest pain
  • Flushing
  • Stomach pain
  • Bradycardia (decreased heart rate)
  • Anxiety
  • Hyperhidrosis (increased sweating)
  • Allergic reactions
  • Beta blockers common side effects include:

  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Cold extremities
  • Raynaud’s syndrome (can result in cold extremities)
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Nightmares
  • Sleep disorder
  • Agitation
  • Somnolence
  • Irritability
  • Calcium channel blockers adverse reactions commonly include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Pharyngitis (sore throat)
  • Fatigue
  • Malaise
  • Pain
  • Rash
  • Scalp irritation
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Myalgia (muscle pain)
  • Allergic reactions
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Understand Your Risks with the Rxight® Genetic Test

    MD Labs’ DNA test, Rxight® is based on the analysis of your genes which encode enzymes to establish how you will be likely to respond to hundreds of clinically significant prescription and OTC medications (including antianginal drugs). With the Rxight® test results, which will be reviewed with you in detail by a certified pharmacist, you and your prescriber can work in conjunction with your pharmacist to identify any potentially dangerous or ineffective medications, preferably before you begin treatment.

    How Does Pharmacogenetic Testing Work?

    Some patients suffer adverse reactions to antianginal medications, whereas others uses never experience any problems. This is in part due to the inter-individual variability in genetics that determine how a drug is metabolized. Differences in the enzymes and receptors that interact with these drugs can increase the probability of developing adverse reactions.Specifically, most antianginal drugs are metabolized by one particular enzyme in the liver, although the specific enzyme involved will vary between class, subclass and individual drugs. Variations in the genes that encode these enzymes have been shown to increase the probability of developing side effects or experiencing no therapeutic value. Identifying these variations can aid clinical decision making, replacing the trial-and-error approach that is still used by prescribers in the absence of pharmacogenetic testing.

    Contributors to this Article:
    Michael Sapko, MD, Phd and Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry

    Antianginal Medications Tested Include:

    Read more about Rxight® Drug Sensitivity Testing