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Nitroglycerin is a strong pharmacy drug classified as a vasodilator. It is often used to help relax blood vessels within the body, which enables more blood and oxygen to flow freely to the heart. As a result of this relaxation of the vessels, the heart is less taxed and can in most cases return to a calmer pumping rhythm which may relieve angina, commonly known as chest pain. The most common uses for nitroglycerin are for the treatment of hypertension, chest pain, and heart failure.


Nitroglycerin is widely used in modern medicine and comes in multiple forms for distribution into the body. Nitroglycerin may be compounded into capsules, sublingual tablets, or even prepared for injection. When taken orally, nitroglycerin is often given three to four times per day, or as directed by your primary care doctor. If taking capsules, never chew, crush, or break them as this will likely release too much of the drug into your body all at once. Long-term use may cause the beneficial effects of nitroglycerin to lessen so talk to your doctor if you feel that your chest pain or other symptoms are returning or increasing; your doctor may adjust your dosage. Never adjust your dosage on your own; only your doctor can safely decide what adjustments, if any, should be made to your medication protocol.


Side effects may present with the use of this drug. Know what to watch for and see your doctor right away if you encounter any side effects that are exacerbating or persisting. Some of the more common side effects experienced with the use of nitroglycerin are as follows:

  • Dizziness
  • Accelerated Heart Rate
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Rash
  • Reddening of Skin
  • Warming of Skin

Severe Side Effects:

There may be many possible side effects with the use of nitroglycerin, some of which may be severe. It is impossible to list all the side effects that could be encountered because each person is unique, and as such it is possible for anyone to experience something different than what is typical. The simple rule to remember is to always seek medical treatment right away if you feel you are experiencing anything that is severe, dire, dangerous, or concerning. Commonly experienced severe side effects are often due to lowered blood pressure and some of those signs are listed below.

Possible Signs of Low Blood Pressure:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Blurry Vision
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Shallow Breathing
  • Accelerated Breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Clammy Skin
  • Cold Skin


Never take this drug without the expressed permission of your consulting primary care doctor.

Nitroglycerin may be contraindicated for many issues, diseases, conditions (medical or otherwise), as well as drug interactions. It is important to discuss all possible relevant contraindications with your doctor before considering the use of nitroglycerin.

Nitroglycerin may be contraindicated for the following: (Talk to your doctor.)

  • Severe Heart Failure
  • Hemorrhage in Brain
  • High Pressure within Skull
  • Severe Anemia
  • Methemoglobinemia
  • Abnormally Low Blood Pressure
  • Allergy to Nitrate Analogues

Many drugs may negatively interact with nitroglycerin. Be sure to discuss all possible drug interactions with your doctor and make sure that your doctor is fully aware of all the drugs, supplements, etc. that you are currently taking.

Partial List of Drugs that Should Never be Taken While Using Nitroglycerin.

  • Tadalafil
  • Sildenafil
  • Vardenafil
  • Riociguat
  • Ergotamine
  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA