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.
I had no inkling I had heart disease until December 2005, when I had two minor episodes of mild angina (pain in the chest area). My primary care physician ran an electrocardiogram but saw nothing abnormal. I was an athletic, lean 53-year-old who ate nutritious foods. He decided I was just stressed and gave me the go-ahead to go to Nicaragua on vacation.
But while there, the angina went from mild to severe. The pain would come and go, but on three separate occasions the pain was the most massive...
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