This medication is used before physical activities (such as exercise, sexual activity) to prevent chest pain (angina) in people with a certain heart condition (coronary artery disease). It may also be used to relieve chest pain in these people once it occurs.
Nitroglycerin belongs to a class of drugs known as nitrates. Angina occurs when the heart muscle is not getting enough blood. This drug works by relaxing and widening blood vessels so blood can flow more easily to the heart.
How To Use
Ask your doctor now for exact instructions on how to use your nitroglycerin and when to call for emergency medical help (911).
Read the Patient Information Leaflet available from your pharmacist. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Before using this medication for the first time, spray the pump into the air away from yourself, others, or open flame. This is known as priming the pump. The number of times you need to spray the pump to prime it depends on your brand. If you have not used this medication for 6 weeks or more, you will need to prime it again before use. Do not shake the container.
Sit down before using this medication. Remove the plastic cover. Hold the container upright with your finger on top of the grooved button. Open your mouth, and bring the container as close to your mouth as possible. Press the button to spray the medication onto or under your tongue. Use 1 to 2 sprays as directed by your doctor, then close your mouth. Do not inhale or swallow the spray. Avoid eating, spitting, or rinsing your mouth for 5 to 10 minutes after spraying.
If you are using this medication to prevent chest pain before physical activities, use it 5 to 10 minutes before the activity.
If you are using this medication to relieve chest pain once it occurs, use it as soon as possible. If your chest pain has not improved or if it has worsened 5 minutes after you use this drug, call emergency medical help (911). After calling the emergency number, use another spray. Five minutes after the second spray, if you still have chest pain and the ambulance has not arrived, use a third spray. If your chest pain is not gone after 15 minutes and 3 doses of nitroglycerin, call emergency medical help (911) if you have not called already. Do not use more than 3 sprays during an attack unless directed by your doctor.
Periodically check the level of medication in the container so you know when you need to order more medication.