DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!
AbOuT half of those with long-term conditions don’t take their medication as prescribed. Dr Helen Cowan, a nurse with a PhD in cardiac pharmacology, reveals mistakes she’s encountered. This week: using angina spray to warm hands THERE is a relatively simple treatment for angina — chest pain that occurs when the blood supply to the heart is restricted.
Glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) is a spray which, when used under the tongue, widens the blood vessels in the heart and is effective at relieving symptoms.
However, one patient told me it had an added benefit of warming up his hands — so he’d spray it under his tongue before cycling to work on a cold morning (it would also widen the blood vessels in his hands so more blood was pumped through). But this would also widen the blood vessels in the vital organs including heart, kidney and liver and using the spray daily in this way, instead of when he felt the pain, could cause headaches and upset the regulated internal mechanisms in the body. Overuse of the drug could also lead to it becoming less effective when it is really needed.