Nitrates are drugs to prevent and relieve chest pain (angina) in people with coronary heart disease . This drug can also be used in the treatment of heart failure and heart attacks. Nitrates are available in tablets, sustained-release tablets, sustained-release capsules, sublingual tablets, and injections.

Nitrates work as a vasodilator which works to widen blood vessels and increase blood flow to the heart. This way of working will increase the supply of oxygen to the heart muscle and ease the work of the heart in pumping blood.

Nitrates consist of short acting nitrates (fast acting) and long acting nitrates (slow acting). Fast-acting nitrates are used to relieve ongoing angina, as well as to prevent angina that occurs as a result of strenuous activity or emotional stress. This type of nitrate drug is available in the form of sublingual tablets or injections.

Meanwhile, long-acting nitrates are prioritized for the treatment and prevention of long-term angina. Long-acting nitrate preparations include tablets, sustained-release tablets, and sustained-release capsules.

Warning Before Using Nitrates

The following are things that need to be considered before undergoing treatment with nitrate drugs:

  • Tell your doctor about any history of allergies you have. Drugs that are included in the nitrate group should not be given to people who are allergic to this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications, especially drugs to treat sexual dysfunction , such as sildenafil or tadalafil . Nitrates should not be used by patients currently undergoing treatment with these drugs.
  • Tell your doctor if you have recently had a heart attack, or if you have any other heart disease, especially hypertrophic cardiomyopathy , chronic pericarditis , mitral stenosis, or bradycardia .
  • Tell your doctor if you have migraines , recurring headaches, or headaches that are worse in the morning and accompanied by nausea. Also inform your doctor if you have recently had a head injury or bleeding stroke .
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had glaucoma , anemia, hypotension or orthostatic hypotension , hypothyroidism, malnutrition , lung disease, kidney disease, or liver disease .
  • Do not drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery immediately after using nitrate drugs, because these drugs can cause dizziness, headaches, or blurred vision.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages while on treatment with nitrates, as this can worsen the side effects of these drugs.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • Tell your doctor that you are using nitroglycerin before having any medical procedure, including dental surgery.
  • Immediately to the doctor if there is an allergic drug reaction or overdose after using nitrates.

Nitrate Side Effects and Dangers

Side effects that may arise after using nitrate drugs depend on the type and dosage form of the drug. Some of the common side effects that can arise include:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness/floating
  • Headache
  • Redness and burning sensation around the face and neck ( hot flashes )
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weak, tired, or sleepy

Check with your doctor if the complaints mentioned above do not subside or get worse. Immediately see a doctor if you experience an allergic drug reaction or more serious side effects, such as:

  • Headache that is severe and does not improve even after stopping the use of nitrates
  • Severe dizziness as if you were about to faint
  • Heart rate too fast, too slow, or irregular
  • Heart pounding or feeling like it's shaking
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Pale and cold sweat
  • Short and fast breaths
  • Worsening chest pain
  • Blue lips, fingers, or palms

Nitrate Types and Trademarks

The following are three types of drugs that are included in the nitrate group along with their trademarks and dosages:

1. Nitrogliserin atau glyceryl trinitate (GTN)

Nitroglycerin drug forms: sublingual tablets, slow-release capsules, and injectable liquid.

Merek dagang nitrogliserin: DBL Glyceryl Trinitrate Concentrate Injection, Glyceryl Trinitrate, NTG, Nitral, dan Nitrokaf Retard.

To find out the dosage and further information about this drug, please open the nitroglycerin drug page . 

2. Isosorbid mononitrat

Forms of the drug isosorbide mononitrate: tablets and sustained release tablets.

With isosorbide mononitrate: Cardismo, Cardismo XR, Imdur, Imocard SR, and Monecto 

To find out the dosage and further information about this drug, please open the isosorbide mononitrate drug page . 

3. Isosorbid dinitrat

Forms of isosorbide dinitrate: drinking tablets, sublingual tablets, and injections

Brands of isosorbide dinitrate: Cedocard, Cedocard Retard, Farsorbid, Isorbid, Isosorbide Dinitrate, Isonat, Monecto 20, and Nosorbid.

To find out the dosage and further information about this drug, please open the isosorbide dinitrate drug page .

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