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What is Nitrostat (Nitroglycerin) prescribed for?

Angina is a chest pain that happens because of the lack of blood that is traveling to your heart. When it does happen, it can feel like a heart attack, especially with the feelings of pressure or squeezing of your chest that can happen. Angina is a symptom of heart disease, and it happens when something blocks your arteries or there is not enough blood flow in the arteries that bring the oxygen rich blood to your heart.

This medication is used to treat chest pain (angina) in people that have a certain heart condition known as coronary artery disease. This medication may also be used if you are experiencing chest pain during physical activities such as exercising or any sexual activity. Taking this medication will help prevent the chest pain that occurs.

Nitroglycerin belongs to a class of drugs known as nitrates. Angina (the chest pain) occurs when the heart is not getting enough blood. This medication works by relaxing and widening the blood vessels so that blood may flow at a much easier pace to the heart.

Sit down when taking this medication, then place 1 tablet under your tongue and allow it to dissolve. Do not chew or swallow the tablet. Remember, the dosage is based on your medical condition and your response to the treatment.

If you are using this medication to prevent chest pain before any physical activities, use it 5 to 10 minutes before the activity.

If you are using the medication to relieve the chest pain once it occurs, use it as soon as possible. If your chest pain has not improved or if it has worsened within 5 minutes after using this drug, call 911. After making the emergency call, use another dose. Five minutes after the second dose, if you still have the chest pain and no ambulance has arrived, use a third dose. At this point if it does not improve or worsens, if you have not called an ambulance, call 911 right away. Do not use more than 3 doses.


Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic to Nitroglycerin; or to similar drugs (such as isosorbide mononitrate); or to nitrites; or to any other medications or allergies in general.

Before taking this medication, it is for the best to inform your doctor of your Medical history. Report any of these conditions, if you have any of the follow; recent head injury, anemia, low blood pressure, loss of too much body water (dehydration), other heart problems (such as recent heart attack).

Side Effects

Some of these side effects may occur when taking this medication; they are as follows; Headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, flushing, and burning/tingling under the tongue may occur. However, if these symptoms do persist or worsen, it is best then to speak with your doctor.

Headache is often a sign that this medication is working. Your doctor may recommend treating headaches with an over-the-counter pain reliever (such as acetaminophen, aspirin). If the headaches continue or become severe, tell your doctor promptly.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.


What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.


 What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.


 What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.


 What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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