What Are Nitrate Drugs?

Nitrate drugs are used to treat the symptoms of angina which have to do with heart issues and chest pain. Nitrate drugs relieve an attack that is occurring, this is what is referred to as “Nitro”, to prevent attacks from occurring by using the medicine just before an attack is expected to occur, such as when strenuous activity has taken place and a person has a particular history of heart problems or in reducing the number of attacks that occur by using the medicine regularly on a long-term basis. Using the medicine on a long term basis is not advisable is it can be avoided.

Nitrate drugs can be taken orally and swallowed. Taking the medicine in this fashion, Nitrates are used to reduce the number of angina attacks that a person has. When Nitrates are in this form, the kind to be swallowed, they are not strong enough to prevent a heart episode if it occurs. Nitrate drugs work by relaxing blood vessels and increasing the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart while reducing its work load. The drug forces the blood vessels to relax thus helping the blood flow more freely. When Nitrates are taken to stop a heart attack or an attack of angina they are in a much stronger dose. The blood vessels are opened more rapidly which is why most patients complain of an immediate headache after having it administered.

Nitrate drugs are also some times used for other conditions but that is for a doctor to decide. Nitrates are only available with a prescription and the drug is strongly controlled.

As with any medicine Nitrates have reactions to other drugs and conditions and you should be honest with your doctor about any pre-existing conditions or drugs that you may already be taking. Some of the things to consider if you are considering taking nitrate drugs are things such as allergies and if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to nitrates or nitrites. Your doctor will also need to know if you are allergic to any other substances, such as certain foods, preservatives, or dyes. Certain allergies could effect the way the drugs work or can cause an adverse reaction.

Nitrates have not been studied in pregnant women so it is not advisable that women who are pregnant or think they may be pregnant take nitrate drugs. Breast-feeding is another concern because doctors do not know if these medicines pass into breast milk.

Nitrates are not prescribed for children. There have been no studies on what nitrates do to young bodies. However in older adults dizziness or lightheadedness does occur.

There are many other medicines that should not be used with Nitrates such as, Antihypertensives which is used for high blood pressure or other heart medicine because it may increase the effects of nitrates on blood pressure. Patients should also not use Sildenafil, which is Viagra or Tadalafil, which is Cialis or Vardenafil, which is Levitra. These drugs treat erectile dysfunction and should not be taken with nitrates at all.

Again, always consult a doctor before taking new medicines and always take them as directed.

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