Daily Mail - - Good Health -

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.

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