Atherosclerosis is the process of narrowing and hardening of the arteries due to plaque buildup in the inner lining of arteries. It's the key cause of heart attacks and strokes and the No. 1 killer in the U.S.
When it comes to developing health risks from atherosclerosis, some people are at higher risk than others. But because atherosclerosis is silent until it's advanced, estimating one's health risk takes some educated guesswork.
How can you determine your risk? The risk factors are easy...
Follow the label directions on when and how to take nitrates. Take these drugs with or without meals. Medication tolerance can develop with these medications; this leads to their ineffectiveness. Talk with your doctor so you understand how to take these medications during the day. The number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and how long you need to take the medications will depend on your condition.
While taking these drugs, have your blood pressure checked regularly, as advised by your doctor.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory so that your response to the drug can be monitored.
What Are the Side Effects of Nitrates?
Nitrates may cause dizziness. Other side effects of nitrates include:
Headache; rapid, irregular, or pounding heartbeat; this is very common with continuous use but resolves after the first few weeks of treatment. If they persist, contact your doctor or nurse.
Flushing of the face or neck. Contact your doctor or nurse if these side effects are persistent or severe.