Aspirin has been shown to be of benefit as an anti-platelet drug - it irreversibly inhibits cyclo-oxygenase in platelets, thus preventing aggregation, reducing mortality following an infarct or where there is evidence of continuing ischaemia.

Glyceryl Trinitrate (GTN) spray is normally given under the tongue, and acts as a vasodilator. It works within 2 minutes and lasts for about 30 minutes.

Allopurinol is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor, and is used as a prophylactic treatment for gout - that is the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints etc. (see case 15).

Diltiazem is a calcium channel blocker which generally reduces afterload on the cardiac muscle; it should be used with caution in cases of heart failure or renal impairment.

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