What is Angina and how does Ranexa ER (ranolazine) work to treat Angina?

A senior man holding his heart and a phase of "What is a angina"

Angina is a medical condition in which the blood flow to the heart is reduced, causing chest pain.  A symptom of heart disease, angina is also called angina pectoris.  The most common cause of angina is coronary artery disease (CAD), where the coronary arteries in the heart are narrowed by plaque (fatty deposits).  This condition is known as atherosclerosis.   Stable and unstable angina are both often treated with prescription medications.

What are the symptoms of angina?

Symptoms of angina include:

  • Tightness in the chest
  • Heaviness or pressure on the chest
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, or back along with chest pain

The symptoms of angina may mimic acid reflux or indigestion, so it is vitally important to have any form of chest pain evaluated by medical professionals immediately.  They will determine whether you have stable angina or unstable angina which may be an indication of a heart attack.

What is stable angina?

Stable angina (also known as effort angina) lasts a short period of time and eases once you take angina medication or rest.  It appears when you are physically active or exercise, when your heart is working harder.  It is also fairly predictable and you have experienced the pain before.

What is unstable angina?

Unstable angina is a medical emergency.

Unstable angina (also known as crescendo angina) lasts more than several minutes, will not disappear with use of medication or rest, and appears unexpectedly.  The pain is usually more severe, prolonged or more frequent than before.

Unstable angina is often caused by blockages or blood clots in the heart’s blood vessels.  If the blood flow isn’t improved a heart attack results.

What is variant angina (Prinzmetal’s angina)?

This angina happens while you are rest, is severe, and usually relieved by angina medication. It is believed caused by spasms of the artery. It occurs in patients with normal coronary arteries or insignificant atherosclerosis, often in younger women.

Women’s angina symptoms may be different than men’s angina symptoms.

Women often have different symptoms than men, which unfortunately leads to a delay in seeking medical treatment.  If you are a woman who experiences the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Discomfort in the back, neck or jaw
  • Sharp pain in the chest, as opposed to pressure

What are the risk factors for angina?

Lifestyle choices may lead to an increased risk for angina and coronary artery disease.  Certain risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol or triglycerides
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Older age

Reducing stress, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet and getting some exercise may help lower your risk for angina.

Ranexa ER is a prescription medication used to treat chronic chest pain known as angina.   It works by increasing blood flow to the heart. It does not affect blood pressure or heart rate.

How is Ranexa ER prescribed?

Ranexa ER is often combined with other medications used for chronic angina.  Your doctor must know about all medications you are currently taking.

Ranexa ER is not to be used for an acute/emergency angina attack.  Other medications such as nitroglycerin are usually prescribed for acute angina.  Speak to your doctor about what and how to take your medication during an acute angina episode.

The active ingredient in Ranexa ER is ranolazine.

Ranexa ER 500mg tablets

Ranexa ER 750mg tablets

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

What medications interfere/interact with Ranexa ER?

Speak to your pharmacist about what medications interact with prescription Ranexa ER.  This includes (and is not limited to) medications such as:

This is not a full list of medications which may interfere with this medication.

If you have questions about your prescription medications or any other medication, please contact our team at Canada Online Health by calling toll free 1-800-399-DRUG (3784). One of our patient representatives will be happy to assist you or transfer you to a licensed Canadian pharmacist for a free consultation.

This article contains medical information provided to help you better understand this particular medical condition or process, and may contain information about medication often used as part of a treatment plan prescribed by a doctor.  It is not intended to be used as either a diagnosis or recommendation for treatment of your particular medical situation.  If you are unwell, concerned about your physical or mental state, or are experiencing symptoms you should speak with your doctor or primary health care provider. If you are in medical distress please contact emergency services (such as 911).

Was this article helpful? Other related articles include:

How prescription Pradaxa ®(dabigatran) prevents strokes from blood clots.

Preventing heart disease and stroke with generic rosuvastatin.

How prescription blood thinners work to prevent blood clots.

Is it heart burn or a heart attack?


  1. Hi my mane is julio i suffer a heart attack in 2004 and i have been suffer wit pain and a lot os discomfort in my chest & pain , the doctor send to have to have an heart surgery a triple by pass then afer that they found that the triple by- pass got clogged & they put 5 stems or by-pass the triple by-pass but i still have 3 more blockages , one i widow-maker is 80 % another 70 % & another one for a 40% , i wounder if i could take anything to clear my conorary arteries.

    • Hello Julio,

      I am sorry to hear about your current condition. I suggest consulting with your physician and health care team. Your team will have more detailed information about you and your condition and will be better able to answer any questions you may have. You are welcome to share this article with your team if you feel this product may help.

      Take care and thank you for sharing.

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