What causes occasional episodes of chest pain?

Posted on Thu, 16 Feb 2017 in Cancer
Question: I've been having occasional chest pains. Not really painful, but pressure that increases until I stop what I'm doing and take a couple of deep breaths and relax. Usually sitting down works best. I'm looking to self medicate if possible with oral nitroglycerine. I'm currently away from my medical facility and won't be back there until April. All I have for coverage is VA. I have access to Pharmacies in Mexico. They are trustworthy and honest. I take blood pressure meds and have checked for any interactions. None noted. What is your opinion and a possible dosage suggestion. Thank you, XXXXX email: YYYY@YYYY
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 38 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It may be from heart disease

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your query.

The pain which increases on exertion and relieves on rest is most commonly due to heart disease. Where is this pain located? Predominantly left sided? Then probability of heart disease even higher.

However, other causes are possible, like chest wall muscle or joint problems, pleurisy, etc. So a proper evaluation including ECG, chest radiograph, echocardiogram, may be required.

I would recommend you to visit the VA and not to do self-medication. Once in a while nitroglycerine under the tongue to relieve the pain is OK but not enough.

Hope this helps.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Indranil Ghosh 3 hours later
I understand the answer. The pain/pressure is centrally located in my upper chest area. None in either arm or shoulder. I will be going to the VA in March. It won't be available until then. In the interim if I experience the pressure could you suggest what nitro to use and what strength? Thanks, XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 6 hours later
Brief Answer:
Still could be heart pain

Detailed Answer:
I understand you can't go to a doctor now. But only after examining you the proper dose can be determined. We commonly suggest to our patients 0.3-0.6 mg tabs under the tongue at the first onset of pain and repeated every 5 min for upto 3 times if relief not obtained.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Indranil Ghosh


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