How Do Nitrates Work?

Reviewed on 6/22/2021

HOW DO NITRATES WORK?

Nitrates are vasodilators (dilate the blood vessels) that are used to treat angina (chest pain caused by lack of oxygen to the heart muscle) and ease the symptoms of congestive heart failure (a chronic progressive condition that affects the pumping power of your heart muscle).

Nitrates dilate (widen) the blood vessels (arteries and veins in the body), improve blood flow, and allow more oxygen-rich blood to reach the heart muscle. Dilation of the veins lowers the amount of blood that returns to the heart that must be pumped, while dilation of the arteries reduces the pressure in the arteries against which the heart must pump. As a result of these effects, the heart works less and requires less blood and oxygen.

Nitrates are available in different forms:

  • Pills
    • swallowed with liquids
    • chewed before swallowing
    • sublingual (dissolved under the tongue)
    • buccal (held under the lip or cheek until dissolved)
  • Topical ointment
  • Transdermal patch
  • Translingual spray

HOW ARE NITRATES USED?

Nitrates are used to treat:

WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF NITRATES?

Side effects of nitrates angina may include:

The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

QUESTION

In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. See Answer

WHAT ARE NAMES OF NITRATES?

Generic and brand names of nitrates angina drugs include:

References
https://reference.medscape.com/drugs/nitrates-angina

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