At present nitrates remain the initial treatment for relief or prevention of angina in patients with coronary artery disease. In cases where nitrates and beta blockers have been used and are ineffective for managing effort angina, calcium antagonists may be substituted or added to the beta-blocking treatment. When the predominant symptom is rest angina, and there is evidence suggesting coronary artery spasm, nitrates and a calcium antagonist can be effective therapy. In patients with heart block, bradyarrhythmias, heart failure, or hypertension nifedipine may be the drug of choice. In contrast verapamil merits choice when supra-ventricular tachycardia is present. Diltiazem appears intermediate between nifedipine and verapamil and may be particularly useful when hypotension or other side effects must be avoided.