nitroglycerin (generic name)

Nitrolingual (brand name)

It relaxes blood vessels, increasing the blood and oxygen supply to your heart
(nye troe GLI ser in)
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What is this medicine?

NITROGLYCERIN (nye troe GLI ser in) is a type of vasodilator. It relaxes blood vessels, increasing the blood and oxygen supply to your heart. This medicine is used to prevent or relieve chest pain caused by angina.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • liver disease
  • recent heart attack
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to nitroglycerin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is only for use in the mouth. Use at the first sign of an attack. You can also use this medicine 5 to 10 minutes before an event likely to produce chest pain. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not shake the container. Remove the plastic cover. Before using this medicine for the first time, you must prime the bottle by spraying the pump 5 times into the air away from yourself. If this medicine has not been used for 6 weeks, you must reprime the bottle by spraying once into the air away from yourself. Hold the container upright and spray either onto or underneath the tongue. Do not breathe in the spray. After each spray, close your mouth but do not swallow or rinse. Your symptoms should improve in 1 to 5 minutes. You can repeat the dose every 5 minutes for up to three doses. If you do not feel better after 1 dose, contact your doctor or health care professional immediately or have someone take you straight to an emergency room. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

If you take this medicine often to relieve symptoms of angina, your doctor or health care professional may provide you with different instructions to manage your symptoms. If symptoms do not go away after following these instructions, it is important to call 9-1-1 immediately. Do not take more than 3 doses over 15 minutes.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply. This medicine is only used as needed.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • certain migraine medicines like ergotamine and dihydroergotamine (DHE)
  • medicines used to treat erectile dysfunction like sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • medicines for high blood pressure

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Last Updated: July 10, 2009
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