Atherosclerosis is sneaky. It's a process that starts early in life and progresses silently. By the time symptoms occur, atherosclerosis is advanced and represents a serious problem.
There are tests for diagnosing atherosclerosis, but none of them are perfect. Some of them even have some risk of harm. So testing isn't as simple as you might think.
If you're concerned about atherosclerosis, what should you do? What can you expect at the doctor's office if you ask about an atherosclerosis diagnosis?...
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.