The People's Perspective on Medicine

Nitroglycerin sublingual tablets

Overview

Nitrostat is prescribed to people who suffer chest pain due to angina. It is used both for prevention and to treat an acute attack.

The medication is taken by holding it under the tongue at the first sign of pain or five to ten minutes before doing anything that might precipitate angina.

Side Effects and Interactions

Headache is not uncommon after using Nitrostat. If it is very severe or lasts a long time, contact your doctor, as a change in dose may be advisable.

Nitroglycerin may also cause flushing of the skin, dizziness or fainting, nausea, rapid heart beat, weakness or rash.

Report any symptoms, including blurred vision or dry mouth, to your doctor without delay.

Nitrostat may interact with other drugs, including alcohol, to lower blood pressure dangerously.

Beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and other blood pressure drugs may interact with nitroglycerin.

Ergotamine medicines for migraine headaches also interact with this drug. Check with your physician and pharmacist before taking other drugs in combination with Nitrostat.

Special Precautions

Nitrostat should be stored in a tightly closed container away from heat, cold, or moisture.

It should not be given to anyone who is in the early phase of a heart attack or who has increased pressure inside the head due to injury.

Taking the Medicine

No food, gum or beverage should be used while Nitrostat is dissolving. Because Nitrostat might make you dizzy, it is best to sit down while using it.

If three tablets within 15 minutes do not ease chest pain, call your doctor or get to an emergency room immediately.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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