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Using Nitroglycerin for Angina - Topic Overview

Are there side effects or interactions with other drugs that I should be aware of?

Normal, temporary side effects of nitroglycerin include a warm or flushed feeling, headache, dizziness, or lightheadedness. You may also feel a burning sensation under your tongue.

Do not take the erection-enhancing medicine sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra) if you are taking nitroglycerin. Combining nitroglycerin with any of these medicines can cause a life-threatening drop in blood pressure. If you develop chest pain and have taken one of these erection-enhancing medicines, be sure to tell your doctor so that you are not given nitroglycerin or another nitrate medicine.

Do not take the pulmonary hypertension medicine sildenafil (Revatio) if you are taking nitroglycerin or another nitrate medicine.

How should I store nitroglycerin?

Store nitroglycerin pills in a dark-colored (such as brown), airtight, glass container that you cannot see through. Keep the container tightly closed. Keep nitroglycerin pills and liquid spray away from heat or moisture.

Can nitroglycerin get old and lose potency?

Nitroglycerin can get old. And when it is old, it may not work. If your nitroglycerin supply is past its expiration date, get a new prescription as soon as possible. Keep your nitroglycerin in the container it came in and tightly closed. Do not open your sublingual nitroglycerin until you need a dose. Replace your tablets every 3 to 6 months. A nitroglycerin spray may last up to 2 years before it expires.

You may get a headache when you use nitroglycerin. Or you may feel burning or tingling under your tongue with nitroglycerin that is used under the tongue. But if you don't have a headache or feel burning or tingling under your tongue, it does not mean the medicine is not working.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 13, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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