Unlike typical angina – which is often triggered by exertion or emotional stress – Prinzmetal’s angina almost always occurs when a person is at rest, usually between midnight and early morning. These attacks can be very painful.
Prinzmetal angina may also be referred to as:
- Variant angina
- Prinzmetal's variant angina
- Angina inversa
The pain from variant angina is caused by a spasm in the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle.
The coronary arteries can spasm because of:
- Usually occurs while resting and during the night or early morning.
- Is usually severe.
- Can be relieved by taking medication.
Medicines can help control the spasms. Drugs such as calcium channel blockers and nitrates are the mainstays of treatment.
Prinzmetal's angina is a chronic condition that will need to be followed by your health care team even though the prognosis is generally good.