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Use of Nitroglycerin Patches

If you have coronary artery disease, your healthcare provider may prescribe the nitroglycerin patch (Minitran™, Nitro-Dur®) to help prevent episodes of chest pain (angina). These patches are placed on the skin once a day and worn for 12 to 14 hours.
Angina attacks occur when the heart does not have a sufficient supply of blood and oxygen. When you use nitroglycerin patches, a controlled amount of nitroglycerin is absorbed through the skin. This medicine works by relaxing the veins and arteries in the body, which improves blood flow to the heart. As a result, the heart receives enough blood and oxygen.
However, it is important that a nitroglycerin patch only be used for 12 to 14 hours each day. It is essential that your body has a 10- to 12-hour break from the medication each day. Using it around the clock would result in your body becoming accustomed to the effects of the drug, making nitroglycerin ineffective.
(Click What Is the Nitroglycerin Patch Used For? for more information on when and how to use nitroglycerin patches. This full-length article also discusses how this medicine works and whether it is safe for use in children.)
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