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Chest pain treatments

You should call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance immediately if:

  • your chest pain is severe, or worsening, or lasts longer than 10 minutes
  • your chest pain feels heavy, crushing or tight
  • you have other symptoms, such as breathlessness, nausea, dizziness or a cold sweat
  • you also feel the pain in your jaw or down your left arm.

You should try to stay calm and quiet. Loosen any tight clothing, such as collar buttons or ties. Avoid breathing in cigarette smoke. Don’t have anything to eat or drink.

If you have been prescribed anginine (also called glycerine trinitrate or GTN), sit or lie down and take a dose of this under your tongue. If this doesn’t relieve your symptoms in five minutes, try taking two more doses at five minute intervals.

If you are not allergic to aspirin, try chewing on a 300mg aspirin tablet. (Do not give aspirin to anyone under 16 years.)

If the pain you have does not sound like that described above, then it's still important to see a doctor soon. Remember, all chest pain should be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your chest pain, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: July 2015

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