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When and How to Use Nitroglycerin

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with nitroglycerin include the following:
  • This medicine comes in several different forms. Refer to your healthcare provider's specific directions for your particular product and situation.
  • The long-acting forms (patches, ointment, and capsules) are used to prevent chest pain and are used on a daily basis. The short-acting forms (tablets and spray) are used as needed to relieve chest pain.


  • As you might imagine, the instructions for using nitroglycerin anal ointment (for anal fissures) are quite different from the instructions for other nitroglycerin products (see Rectiv Dosage for more information)
  • For the short-acting forms (tablet or spray), you can use up to three doses within 15 minutes. If chest pain continues after a third dose, you should seek immediate medical attention, as you may be having a heart attack.
  • For nitroglycerin ointment or patches, carefully read the directions included with your particular product. If you have any questions, talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be used as prescribed.

Dosing Information

The dose of this medication your healthcare provider recommends will depend on which type of product you are using and how you respond to the medication (click Nitroglycerin Dosage for more information).

Drug Interactions

Nitroglycerin may react with a number of other medications (see Nitroglycerin Drug Interactions).
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Nitroglycerin Drug Information

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