What are nitroglycerin sublingual tablets used for?

Nitroglycerin sublingual is a drug used in cardiology, especially in coronary artery-related conditions. Learn all about its uses in this article.

Nitroglycerin sublingual tablets are the most commonly used dosage form. What is the use of nitroglycerin sublingual tablets that stimulate vasodilation as a vasodilator?

It helps increase blood flow, which can be damaged for various reasons. In fact, this drug is very important in certain cardiovascular diseases. I will talk in detail about sublingual nitroglycerin, which is very helpful in the treatment of angina pectoris.

Nitroglycerin Sublingual Tablet Definition

Sublingual nitroglycerin is a type of administration of nitroglycerin that dilates blood vessels and works by relaxing smooth muscle, which is part of blood vessels.

When nitroglycerin is given, blood flow to the heart is reduced because the veins do not push blood as strongly. As less blood reaches the atria, the pump loses power.

Also, increasing the caliber of the arteries lowers blood pressure. It works in a similar way in the coronary arteries that carry oxygenated blood to the heart muscle, where it can receive oxygen so that it can beat properly.

Nitroglycerin sublingual tablets are rapidly absorbed. This is because when the drug is placed under the tongue, which is an area with many blood vessels, the drug is delivered directly into the bloodstream and works.

nitroglycerin sublingual blood flow
This drug improves the efficiency of the heart beat by relaxing the heart’s activity by reducing blood flow load.

Uses of nitroglycerin sublingual tablets

As mentioned above, nitroglycerin sublingual tablets  are used for the treatment of certain cardiovascular diseases . As described in the Clinical Practice Guidelines of the Spanish Heart Association, it is routinely administered to patients with chest pain suspected of having myocardial ischemia .

The most common prescription for sublingual nitroglycerin is for the treatment of angina pectoris. Angina pectoris is a type of chest pain very similar to what occurs during a myocardial infarction .

Angina occurs when blood flow to the heart is reduced. Most are due to narrowing of the coronary arteries due to atherosclerosis, as explained by Mayo Clinic experts.

At times like this, I feel stuffy in my chest. Angina pectoris becomes evident in situations of increased oxygen demand during exercise or acute stress . In fact, many people use sublingual nitroglycerin to prevent angina.

The causes of these episodes are usually identified and therefore can be used prior to a specific situation. If someone experiences angina when exercising, they can take nitroglycerin sublingually for prevention.

Read more: Nasal medications

Nitroglycerin Sublingual Tablet Other Indications

As explained in the Drug Information Center fact sheet, nitroglycerin sublingual tablets may be part of treatment for congestive heart failure. It is a condition that occurs when the heart cannot pump blood effectively.

The heart muscle works harder to pump the blood so it doesn’t back up to other parts of the body, such as the lungs. Nitroglycerin greatly improves these problems.

According to an article published in ‘Revista Cubana de Cardiologia y Cirugía Cardiovascular’, nitroglycerin sublingual tablets are also useful for performing an anthropometric test called a stress test . This test consists of performing physical exercises on a treadmill or stationary bicycle and reveals specific heart or cardiovascular problems. In other words, it helps predict whether blood vessels are affected or not.

How to administer nitroglycerin sublingually

Place the nitroglycerin sublingual tablet under the tongue . In this area, the blood vessels are very developed, so the drug is quickly absorbed and enters the blood to act.

Do not chew or swallow these tablets . Allow it to dissolve in saliva. Occasionally there will be a tingling or burning sensation in the mouth, but this is normal.

Management is different for different purposes. For prevention of angina pectoris, it is recommended to take it 5 to 10 minutes before activity. The problem is that many people develop some sort of tolerance to nitroglycerin.

Therefore , dosages and intervals should always be prescribed by a physician . In addition, if the effect of nitroglycerin sublingual tablets gradually decreases, it is essential to consult a specialist.

If an approach has already been prescribed, it is important to take it the moment an angina attack appears. If the pain or discomfort does not go away after 5 minutes, take a second dose. If the second dose does not improve, go to the emergency room.

Sublingual Nitroglycerin Considerations

Sublingual nitroglycerin is a drug that can have a variety of side effects. Also, it should not be used by specific individuals.

The drug causes significant vasodilation . Although it does not act on specific blood vessels, the effect spreads almost throughout the body, and reactions such as dizziness or weakness may occur. In some cases there is headache and even nausea and vomiting. The skin may become warm and red due to the dilation of blood vessels.

Occasionally there is blurred vision, syncope, and tachycardia. Similarly, breathing is faster and shallower than normal, which means there is not enough oxygen and the intended effect is reduced.

Who should not take nitroglycerin

Nitroglycerin sublingual tablets are not for everyone to use. For example, don’t use it on anyone under the age of 18.

Similarly, breastfeeding mothers are advised not to use it. However, according to the Spanish Medicines Agency, it is not known whether the substance can pass into milk and be absorbed by babies.

People with very low blood pressure or severe anemia should also not take it . It is important to avoid it at any time if an allergic reaction or intolerance occurs.

Interactions with Drugs

Nitroglycerin sublingual tablets are prone to interactions with certain medications and medications, such as alcohol . Alcohol, like nitroglycerin, lowers blood pressure and should not be combined with it.

Certain antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, can alter nitroglycerin absorption. Due to lack of saliva due to dry mouth, sublingual tablets do not dissolve well and are not absorbed properly.

Another very important interaction is with sildenafil . Also known as Viagra® and used for erectile dysfunction, sildenafil, like alcohol, may lower blood pressure too much.

nitroglycerin sublingual angina
People suffering from angina are advised to take nitroglycerin to prevent attacks.

Delicate Nitroglycerin Sublingual Tablets

Nitroglycerin sublingual tablets should only be taken as recommended by your doctor . Taking high doses can cause headaches, vision problems, and difficulty breathing.

It is a drug that is absorbed sublingually and should not be taken with other food or beverages. In addition to under the tongue, it can be placed on the cheek or gum so that it dissolves in saliva.

If you take it as part of your treatment, keep it handy and keep it  away from light and moisture.

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