Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Nitrostat

(Nitroglycerin)

  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Patch
  • Mouth spray
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Rectal gel or ointment
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Relieves chest pain.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Nitroglycerin is the fastest-working medicine to relieve chest pain, but make sure to sit down before taking it.

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  • First-choice treatment for quick relief of heart-related chest pain (angina).
  • Can also be used to prevent chest pain from happening.
  • Available in various forms that take effect at different speeds and stay in your system for different lengths of time. Sublingual form works the fastest (1-3 minutes) but lasts the shortest in your body (25 minutes), while the patch form takes the longest to start working (30 minutes) but lasts the longest (10-12 hours). Your doctor can help you find the one that's best for you.
  • You can develop tolerance to this medicine over time, which means that the same dose becomes less effective. You have to stick to a really specific dosing schedule for the extended-release, ointment, and patch forms to prevent this from happening.
  • Headaches are normal with this medicine and they go away as your body gets used to it, but they can be severe or not tolerable for some people.

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Side effects for Nitrostat (Nitroglycerin)

From clinical trials of Nitrostat / Angina (Patch) 

  • HeadacheHeadache63% for Nitroglycerin vs.18% for placebo
  • LightheadednessLightheadedness6% for Nitroglycerin vs.4% for placebo
  • Low blood pressureLow blood pressure4% for Nitroglycerin vs.0% for placebo
  • Increased chest painIncreased chest pain2% for Nitroglycerin vs.2% for placebo

What to expect when you take Nitrostat (Nitroglycerin)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Can cause headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Sit down before taking this medicine in case you get dizzy.
  • Take it exactly as instructed by your doctor.
  • Usually relieves chest pain in 1 to 5 minutes. If pain continues, you can take up to 3 doses, with 5 minutes in between each dose. Call 911 or go to the hospital if you've taken a second dose.
  • Don't drink alcohol while taking this medicine. It can make dizziness worse.
  • Tell your doctor if you're taking any medicine for erectile dysfunction.

Risks and Warnings for Nitrostat (Nitroglycerin)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Concurrent use of erectile dysfunction medicine
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Alcohol use

    Nitrostat (Nitroglycerin) should not be used with an erectile dysfunction medicine without talking to your doctor. Dizziness or fainting may occur when taking Nitrostat (Nitroglycerin) when you change positions, such as going from a seated or lying down position to standing because of changes in your blood pressure, which may lead to falls. This is called orthostatic hypotension. Be very careful when changing positions, especially if you're just starting to take Nitrostat (Nitroglycerin) or if changes in dosing have to be made. Talk to your doctor if you have persistent dizziness or rapid heart rate for more than 1 week.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Nitrostat (Nitroglycerin)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Don't drink alcohol while taking this medicine. It can make dizziness worse.