Nitroglycerin is also known as Glyceryl Trinitrate and has a half-life of 3 minutes.

Medical Uses

Nitroglycerin is used in treating patients with chest pain as well as to treat high blood pressure during a surgery. Angina is a condition that occurs when there is an insufficiency of blood flow to the heart. When this drug is taken, it relaxes as well as widens the blood vessels thus enabling blood to flow easily to the heart. Hence the work load of the heart is reduced which in turn reduces the amount of oxygen needed by the organ. It does not offer total relief from pain, rather it just contains it.

Dosage and Administration

Nitroglycerin is available in different variants. They are oral, Topical, Transdermal, sublingual and Intravenous. In case of oral administration, the drug can be taken for three or four times in a day. The dosage strength required in an individual would be prescribed by the doctor after analyzing the health condition, response to the treatment as well as tolerance. So it would vary from person to person. It is important not to crush, break or chew it. The tablet should be swallowed as a whole in order to prevent the release of all the ingredients in the body at the same time. This would in turn prevent certain ill effects.

If Nitroglycerin Sublingual is prescribed for the patients, it should be kept under the tongue. Allow it to dissolve completely without chewing or breaking it. Burning as well as tingling sensation would be experienced when the pill starts to dissolve in the body.

Individuals using Nitroglycerin Topical can apply the cream on the skin twice a day. The ointment comes with a paper applicator which helps the patients to measure the correct dose. With the help of a paper applicator, the ointment can be applied without touching the medication with bare hands.

The medication comes as a patch which can be worn on the skin for 12 to 14 hours. In case of taking it as a Transdermal, patients can go to the clinic or hospital for getting injected.

Precautionary advice

  • Avoid drinking alcohol as it can alter the blood pressure in a harmful way and can also cause alcohol toxicity.
  • It is advised not to not take Nitroglycerin if you are allergic to its ingredients, pregnant, breast-feeding, have a history of heart ailments, low blood pressure, anemia, or dehydration.
  • Missing a dose is not advised, but if this happens do not double the dosage to make up for the missed dose.
  • Avoid venturing out into the heat or exercising as you may feel faint or light-headed.
  • Inform your doctor of any other drugs being taken to prevent harmful interactions.
  • Do not drive or do anything that requires your complete focus and attention.

Side Effects

Some of the common side effects are burning, itching, bloating, trouble breathing, head ache, excessive weight gain, sweating, feeling hot, dizziness, light headed, swelling in the face, legs or arms, tightening in the chest, numbness and tingling of the hands or feet. Few among the rare symptoms are sore throat, bleeding, abnormal heart rate, fever, dark colored urine, pale skin, fainting, confusion, and scaly skin. Seek medical help in case of extreme side effects.

What drugs interact with Nitroglycerin?

Drugs like dietary supplements, vitamins, minerals as well as those bought with prescription and over-the-counter may interact with this medication.


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