The treatment of pain in acute myocardial infarction varies with local practice. Narcotic analgesics are still the usual treatment in many hospitals. Knowledge of optimal doses, duration of pain relief, and time between drug administration and pain relief is inadequate. Many studies indicate that the relief of pain is often incomplete after treatment with narcotic analgesics. There is often a need for alternative treatments. Large randomised studies consistently show that beta blockade, initially given intravenously and then orally, relieves pain and reduces the need for analgesics. Studies also indicate that early administration of streptokinase and glyceryl trinitrate relieves pain. There is evidence that drugs that limit ischaemic damage also relieve pain.