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Apr 15, 2013

Ranexa Helps Control Chronic Angina in Diabetic Patients

Patients taking the drug in combination with standard therapy had significantly fewer angina episodes than those taking just the standard treatment.

Chronic angina is chest pain that occurs regularly, often brought on by physical or emotional stress. The most common symptom of heart disease, angina is the heart’s way of telling you that it needs more oxygen. Angina can be debilitating for any patient, but it’s especially concerning in individuals with diabetes. Diabetic patients often have more severe heart disease, which can worsen symptoms and increase risk of complications. Fortunately, a recent study published by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology identified a drug that can help minimize chest pain in this hard-to-treat population.

This trial called the TERISA (Type 2 Diabetes Evaluation of Ranolazine In Subjects with Chronic Stable Angina) study assigned more than 900 diabetic patients with chronic angina to standard treatment (a combination of drugs that help improve symptoms) or standard treatment plus ranolazine (Ranexa)—a drug that helps reduce the number of angina episodes in patients. After following subjects for two months, researchers found that patients taking ranolazine had significantly fewer angina episodes than those taking standard therapy. It was also equally as safe as standard therapy, with the most common side effects including nausea, dizziness and constipation.

Although ranolazine has been used for years to treat patients with chronic angina, this is the first study testing its use in patients with type 2 diabetes. Experts are encouraged by these recent results and plan on conducting additional research to see whether ranolazine actually helps control blood sugar in diabetic patients. However, the drug has not yet been approved for this use.

Do you know the symptoms of angina? With nearly 9 million Americans experiencing this condition, it’s important to recognize the symptoms and seek immediate treatment if you experience unexplained chest pain. Typically, patients with angina experience pressure, squeezing or heaviness in the chest, or they may feel pain in the shoulder, arm, back, neck or jaw. Angina symptoms can also feel like heartburn or include feeling out of breath. Some patients experience these symptoms repeatedly (chronic angina), often brought on by emotional or physical stress, while others may experience them suddenly, out of the blue (unstable angina). It’s important to seek medical attention right away if you experience these symptoms, as it could be a sign of a heart attack.
Read the full article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Questions for You to Consider

  • What is angina?
  • Angina is chest pain brought on by a lack of oxygen supply to the heart. Angina can be recurring (chronic or stable angina) or can occur suddenly (unstable angina). It’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you experience unexplained chest pain, as it could be a sign of a heart attack.

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