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This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.

What are Antianginal agents?

Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions. To learn more visit Healthwise. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated. Nitrates for Heart Attack and Unstable Angina.

How It Works Nitrates open up dilate the arteries to the heart, increasing blood flow, relieving chest pain angina , and reducing the heart's workload. Why It Is Used For a heart attack.

They may be used: During angina attacks. Before stressful activities that can cause angina such as having sexual intercourse or walking up stairs or a hill. Over the long term to prevent angina that occurs during daily activities. How Well It Works During a heart attack, nitroglycerin may help blood to flow through the coronary arteries to the heart. For angina, nitrates can quickly relieve the symptoms such as pain or discomfort. Side Effects All medicines have side effects. Here are some important things to think about: Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.

Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while. If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor.

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He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to. Call or other emergency services right away if you have: Trouble breathing. Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor right away if you have: Hives. Blurred vision. Severe headache that does not go away. Skin rash. Common side effects of this medicine include: Dizziness or lightheadedness.

Flushing, or feeling warm, in the face and neck. What To Think About Nitroglycerin can help you manage symptoms of angina. For more information, see: Using Nitroglycerin for Angina Do not take an erection-enhancing medicine such as sildenafil Viagra , vardenafil Levitra , or tadalafil Cialis if you are taking a nitrate.

Taking medicine Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Advice for women If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Checkups Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Top of Page. Last Revised: May 14, Your email has been sent. Please ensure that your email address is correct.

Always give your doctor your complete medical history, especially if you are over 60 years of age, have recently had a stroke or heart attack or have severe headaches, low iron anemia or glaucoma. You may also want to talk to your doctor about how effective nitrates are for managing your angina.

Stable angina | Treatment summary | BNF content published by NICE

Your doctor can adjust the amount of medicine or suggest other ways of managing your condition. Some common side effects of nitrates include headaches, flushing, dizziness, fainting, low blood pressure hypotension and irregular heart rhythms arrhythmia. Report any and all side effects to your doctor.

Eating a healthy diet that is lower in fat, especially saturated and trans fats, being smoke free, limiting alcohol use, being physically active and reducing stress are also important in lowering the risk of heart disease. Talk to your healthcare practitioner about how you can achieve these lifestyle changes. Health Canada - Drugs and Health Products provides health and medical information to help Canadians maintain and improve their health. Drug Product Database provides information about drugs approved for use in Canada. MedEffect Canada provides safety alerts, public health advisories, warnings and recalls.


Your ministry of health also provides useful health resources in your province or territory. What is heart disease? What does this medication do? How does it work?

How should I take it? There are several different forms of nitrates: Pills: sublinguals held under your tongue. Topical ointment or transdermal patches deliver nitrates through your skin. Sublingual spray is sprayed on or under your tongue. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how and when to take your specific medication. What should I avoid while taking this medicine?

What if I am taking other medicines?


Viagra should not be taken within 24 hours of taking nitrates. When combined with nitrates, Viagra may cause lowered blood pressure, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or more serious effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist about similar drugs or herbal remedies that treat erectile dysfunction.