Adverse effects of nitroglycerin

In medicine, nitroglycerin has been in active use for over a century. Nitroglycerin is known as vasodilators or nitrates. It is a medication used to treat angina pectoris (acute chest pain) in people with coronary artery disease. The drug serves as a vasodilator, thereby reducing blood pressure and dilating the vascular system.

Angina is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle. Nitroglycerin works by opening and relaxing blood vessels so blood can flow more easily to the heart. It comes as a sublingual tablet (a tablet that you can dissolve under your tongue), a spray, and an injectable form.

Doctors do not usually prescribe the medicine to people with a history of severe anemia and heart attack on the right side of the heart.

Common adverse effects of nitroglycerin

Medicines may cause some unwanted adverse effects. Nitroglycerin usually has side effects on users. However, these effects may vary. Effects may include;

  • Burning and itching
  • The medicine can cause serious headaches. These headaches are symptoms that the medicine is working
  • Numbness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Flushing (redness of the skin), most especially on the face and neck
  • Fast heartbeat and excessive sweating

Although not all the effects mentioned above may occur, medical attention may be needed if they do.

Serious adverse effects of nitroglycerin

  • Feeling faint, lightheaded, and dizzy.
  • Blurry vision
  • Fever
  • Cold and pale skin
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty in breathing

A doctor’s intervention will be needed in cases where serious effects occur. 

Nitroglycerin has severe interactions with certain medications and should not be taken together to avoid harming the body system. Medicines like ergotamine, sildenafil, tadalafil should not be taken with nitroglycerin as they can cause a decrease in blood pressure and more chest pain.