Nitroglycerin given under the tongue (sublingual) may be effective in an acute episode. Long-acting nitroglycerin and calcium channel blockers are also used to treat esophageal spasms. Long-term (chronic) cases are sometimes treated with low-dose antidepressants such as nortriptyline to reduce symptoms.
Rarely, severe cases need surgery.
An esophageal spasm may come and go (intermittent) or last for a long time (chronic). Medicine can help relieve symptoms.
The condition may not respond to treatment.
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have symptoms of esophageal spasm that don’t go away.
Review Date : 8/22/2008
Reviewed By : Christian Stone, MD, Division of Gastroenterology, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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