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    Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate

    Information about Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate

    Nitroglycerin/glyceryl trinitrate uses

    Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate is used in the treatment of Angina (heart-related chest pain).

    How nitroglycerin/glyceryl trinitrate works

    Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate is a nitrate. It works by relaxing the blood vessels which decreases the oxygen demand of the heart and reduces its workload, thereby preventing/treating attacks of angina (chest pain).

    Common side effects of nitroglycerin/glyceryl trinitrate

    Blurred vision, Decreased blood pressure, Dizziness, Flushing (sense of warmth in the face, ears, neck and trunk), Headache, Increased heart rate, Lightheadedness
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Radhika Dua
    MDS, BDS
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Shilpa Garcha
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    19 Feb 2020 | 06:51 PM (IST)
    Want to know more?
    Read Our Editorial Policy

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    Expert advice for Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate

    • Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate may cause dizziness or sleepiness. Do not drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
    • Do not consume alcohol while taking Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate as it may cause increased dizziness.
    • It may cause headaches which usually go away after a few days of continued treatment. Inform your doctor if it persists.
    • You may develop tolerance to Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate with time, meaning that the same dose may be less effective next time. Follow the prescribed dosing schedule to avoid this.
    • Stop taking medications (prescribed for erectile dysfunction) like sildenafil or tadalafil while on treatment with Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate as it may cause low blood pressure.

    Frequently asked questions for Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate

    Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate

    Q. What effect does Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate have on blood pressure?

    Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate slightly decreases the blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels, but is not recommended for the treatment of high blood pressure. The drop in blood pressure may cause lightheadedness, especially when changing your position suddenly. You should avoid sudden change in your position, for eg, get up slowly if you are sitting or lying down, to minimise this side effect.

    Q. Does the effect of Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate wear off after sometime?

    Yes, excessive use of Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate may cause tolerance which means that Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate may lose its effectiveness on you. Therefore, doctors usually prescribe the smallest dose required for effective relief of acute angina attacks. Also, it is usually prescribed in morning and afternoon doses to give nitrate-free interval. Take it strictly as per the dosing interval prescribed by your doctor to prevent tolerance and maintain the effectiveness of Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate.

    Q. What does too much Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate do?

    Excess Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate may result in low blood pressure, sweating, nausea, vomiting, headache, weak and fast pulse. It may also cause weakness, lightheadedness on standing and the patient might even faint. The patient will require emergency medical treatment in such a case.

    Q. Can I stop using Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate as I feel better now?

    Treatment of angina (heart-related chest pain) is long-term and may even be life long. Stopping Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate suddenly may bring on attacks of angina, especially if you have been using it for several weeks or more. Consult your doctor before stopping this medicine. Your doctor will decide if it needs to be stopped and will reduce the dose gradually over 4 to 6 weeks. You may be prescribed an alternative medication in its place.

    Q. Does Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate stop heart attacks?

    Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate is prescribed to prevent attacks of heart-related chest pain (angina) in patients with coronary artery disease. In this disease, the blood vessels (coronary arteries) which supply blood to the heart become narrow because of which the heart has to work harder to get enough oxygen. Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate prevents angina by relaxing the blood vessels so that the heart does not have to work very hard. Also, relaxation of coronary arteries increases the oxygen supply to the heart.

    Q. Can I take sildenafil if I am taking Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate?

    No, you should not take sildenafil if you are taking Nitroglycerin/Glyceryl Trinitrate. Taking these two medicines together can cause an excessive fall in blood pressure, which may even be life-threatening.

    Content on this page was last updated on 19 February, 2020, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)