Cardiac Medications

















Nitroglycerin

Nitroglycerin is one of the oldest medications available for the treatment of angina and heart disease. Nitroglycerin dilates blood vessels reducing the workload of the heart and improves blood flow to the heart. Nitroglycerin is used under the tongue to treat attacks of angina. Follow these directions for the use of Nitroglycerin.

If you have chest pain:

Stop what you are doing. If the discomfort does not subside within several minutes, take a Nitroglycerin under your tongue. Avoid swallowing while the tablet dissolves. When doing so you should ensure that you are sitting or lying. Nitroglycerin can lower the blood pressure and cause dizziness. Avoid standing after taking the medications for approximately 20 minutes.

There are two different sizes of Nitroglycerin tablets, 0.3 mg and 0.6 mg. Nitroglycerin is also available in spray form (0.4 mg). You may take one 0.3 mg tablet or one 0.4 mg spray every fives minutes up to a total of four doses or one 0.6 mg every 10 minutes up to a total of two to three doses. You should never use Nitroglycerin while driving.

It is not possible to take too many Nitroglycerins however, if your angina has not subsided after 20 to 30 minutes, then there is a chance you may be having a heart attack and you should either contact your physician immediately or have someone take you to the nearest hospital.

Nitroglycerin must be fresh to be effective. Cap the bottle quickly and tightly after each use. Replace unopened bottle after three months even if there are tablets left. Protect tablets from light.

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  Version 2.0, July 2004
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