Ranolazine is a prescription used alone or with other medications for the treatment of angina pectoris. This condition is the most common type of angina that results from reduced blood flow to the heart. A lack of blood flow means your heart muscle isn’t getting enough oxygen. The pain is frequently caused by physical activity or emotional stress. This is a prevalent manifestation of cardiovascular disease. This occurs after you’ve exerted yourself physically. The symptoms tend to be temporary lasting up to 15 minutes in most cases. You can have an episode of angina at any time of the day. However, you’re more likely to experience symptoms in the morning. Angina pectoris is often described as pressure, squeezing, heaviness, tightness, or pain in your chest. For some, it is described as feeling like a vise is squeezing their chest or feeling like a heavyweight has been placed on their chest. The most common types are chronic stable angina and unstable angina. Angina symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in your arms, jaw, neck, shoulder, or back accompanying chest pain
- Chest pain or discomfort
You have a high risk of an episode of this condition if you are:
- Having a history of heart disease
- Having diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure
- Smoking and not exercising
Ranolazine is a type of medicine called an anti-anginal medicine. This drug is actually to block the ‘late inward sodium’ in the heart cells. This sodium increases the calcium concentration inside of cardiac cells and increases the muscle contraction. It also increases the energy usage of the heart muscle. By blocking this sodium channel, Ranolazine improves the metabolism in ischemic heart cells, reducing damage to the heart muscle, and angina symptoms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this prescription. Ranolazine is supplied as an extended-release tablet for oral use. Each tablet is available in the dosage strengths of 500 mg and 1000 mg.
How does Ranolazine work?
Ranolazine improves the blood flow to the heart and therefore oxygen supply to the heart. The pain of angina is caused by too little oxygen reaching the heart when the heart rate increases as well as its workload. This is usually a result of hardening of the arteries that supply blood to the heart.
This medication works in a slightly different way to other angina medicines. It is thought to work by decreasing the flow of sodium and calcium into the heart muscle cells. This allows the heart muscle to relax which improves its blood and oxygen supply. Therefore, this medication helps prevent angina attacks.
How to use Ranolazine?
The recommended starting dose of this medication depends on your medical condition and response to the treatment. You must take the right dose, not more or less. Your doctor may give you a lower dose to start and eventually increase it. You should not stop taking this medication quickly without the consent of your doctor. It may cause another complication or may worsen your current condition. For the best benefit from this product, take it regularly.
Ranolazine is to be taken as directed by your doctor. Each dose may be taken with or without a meal. Each tablet will be taken by mouth with a full glass of water. Swallow the tablet as a whole. Do not break, chew, or crush it. Drink plenty of fluids while having this treatment. It may lessen the risk of certain side effects. Remember to take it at the same time and in the same way each day. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.
What are the side effects of Ranolazine?
Common side effects:
- Spinning sensation
- Stomach pain
- Dry mouth
- Ringing in your ears
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
- Shortness of breath
- Blood in the urine
Tell your doctor right away if you have these serious side effects:
- A light-headed feeling like you might pass out
- Kidney problems (painful or difficult urination, little or no urination, feeling tired or short of breath)
- Headache with chest pain ad severe dizziness
- Fast or pounding heartbeats
Call for a medical emergency if you have signs of an allergic reaction such as:
- Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, throat
- Hives or itching
- Trouble or difficulty breathing
Warnings and Precautions
- Before taking Ranolazine, let your doctor know if you ever had an allergic to it. Tell as well if you have any allergies. This drug may have an inactive ingredient that causes an allergies reaction.
- If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose.
- Inform your doctor if you are taking any other medications including vitamins or herbal supplements.
- If you experience side effects such as feeling dizzy or sick while having this treatment, you should tell your doctor right away. Your dose may need reducing. If a lower dose does not improve these side effects, you may need to stop taking this medicine.
- This may cause dizziness, confusion, or blurred vision that may affect if you operate machinery or you will be driving. You should not perform these activities until you know how this drug affects you and until you are sure you can do it safely.
- This should not be used in people with moderate to severely decreased liver function and severely decreased kidney function.
- This is not recommended for use in children under 18 years of age.
- In pregnancy and breastfeeding women, this should not be given. If needed, consult your doctor first.
- This medication should be used with caution in elderly people, those with heart failure, who weigh 60 kg or less, and those with a family history of an abnormal heart rhythm seen on a heart monitoring trace.