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When should you take nitroglycerin for chest pain?

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Your doctor may give you instructions to take your nitroglycerin before you have angina. That means taking it before activities that are more likely to cause it. For example, you might take it 5 to 10 minutes before you go for a bike ride. You might also take it before:

  • Exercise
  • Physical activity like carrying heavy items, using the vacuum, or raking leaves
  • Sex (don’t take erectile dysfunction medicines at the same time)
  • Situations that make you feel worried, anxious, or angry

SOURCES:

Graboys, T. , Sept. 16, 2003. Cardiology

Hambrecht, R. , June 4, 2013. Cardiology

Amsterdam, E. , published online December 23, 2014. Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Boden, W. , published online August 19, 2015. Drug Design, Development and Therapy

Cleveland Clinic Center for Continuing Education: “Erectile Dysfunction.”

Harvard Health Publications: “Harvard Men's Health Watch: Which drug for erectile dysfunction?”

Schwartz, B. , published online July 6, 2010. Circulation

Warnica, J. , Merck & Co., Inc. 2016. Angina Pectoris, Cardiovascular Disorders, Merck Manual Professional Version

Reviewed by James Beckerman on August 02, 2018

SOURCES:

Graboys, T. , Sept. 16, 2003. Cardiology

Hambrecht, R. , June 4, 2013. Cardiology

Amsterdam, E. , published online December 23, 2014. Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Boden, W. , published online August 19, 2015. Drug Design, Development and Therapy

Cleveland Clinic Center for Continuing Education: “Erectile Dysfunction.”

Harvard Health Publications: “Harvard Men's Health Watch: Which drug for erectile dysfunction?”

Schwartz, B. , published online July 6, 2010. Circulation

Warnica, J. , Merck & Co., Inc. 2016. Angina Pectoris, Cardiovascular Disorders, Merck Manual Professional Version

Reviewed by James Beckerman on August 02, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What are symptoms of angina that may need nitroglycerin?

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    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.