Nitroglycerin is a
vasodilator, a medicine that opens blood vessels to improve blood flow. It is
used to treat
angina symptoms, such as chest pain or discomfort that happens when there
is not enough blood flowing to the heart. To improve blood flow to the heart,
nitroglycerin opens up (dilates) the arteries in the heart (coronary arteries), which improves symptoms and
reduces how hard the heart has to work.
Nitroglycerin comes in
quick-acting forms and long-acting forms.
It's the news you don't want to hear from your cardiologist: One or more of your coronary arteries -- the blood vessels that supply blood to your heart -- is blocked. You have coronary artery disease, the No. 1 killer of U.S. adults.
So does this mean you're headed for bypass surgery? Maybe not, if your situation isn't an emergency.
You might have other options -- including less drastic procedures to reopen those arteries, medication alone, or even radical lifestyle change.
What's your best option?...
Quick-acting forms of
nitroglycerin are used to relieve angina or used just before
activities that typically cause angina. The quick-acting forms include
tablets or oral sprays. The tablets are placed under the tongue (sublingual) or
between the cheek and gum (buccal). The spray is used on or under the tongue.
This topic covers these quick-acting forms of nitroglycerin.
Long-acting forms of nitroglycerin are used to prevent angina from
happening. They are not used to stop sudden symptoms of angina. These long-acting forms
include pills, tablets, skin ointment, and skin patches. This topic does
not cover these long-acting forms of
Your doctor will prescribe the right amount for you.
Do not use another person's nitroglycerin.
When do I use quick-acting nitroglycerin?
doctor will advise you when to use your nitroglycerin. In general, quick-acting
nitroglycerin is used:
To relieve sudden angina.
stressful activities that can cause angina, such as walking uphill or having