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 relieve chest pain caused by angina that does not respond to oral treatment. It is also used to control blood pressure in the surgery setting and to help treat congestive heart failure after a heart attack.

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

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • anemia
  • head injury, recent stroke, or bleeding in the brain
  • heart disease
  • liver disease
  • 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 for infusion into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

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.

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:

  • alteplase
  • aspirin
  • heparin
  • medicines for high blood pressure
  • medicines for mental depression
  • other medicines used to treat angina
  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • blurred vision
  • dry mouth
  • skin rash
  • sweating
  • the feeling of extreme pressure in the head
  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • flushing of the face or neck
  • headache
  • irregular heartbeat, palpitations
  • nausea, vomiting

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: July 10, 2009
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