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Back to Medicines A to Z. Glyceryl trinitrate, or GTN, is a type of medicine called a nitrate. It is used to treat angina chest pain. It can help stop chest pain if an angina attack has already started. It can also help to prevent them from starting. GTN ointment can also be used to treat tears in the skin around your bottom anal fissures.
It comes as tablets or as a spray that you put under your tongue. It also comes as patches and ointment that you put on your skin. Sometimes GTN patches are used in hospital to make your veins easier to see if you need to have a drip infusion. This medicine is not suitable for some people. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have:. Take GTN exactly as your doctor or pharmacist tells you to. Always follow the instructions that come with the medicine. How much GTN you take depends on how bad your angina is and whether you have tablets, spray, patches or ointment.
Sometimes patches are not enough to prevent all your angina attacks. Your Tnt heart medication may give you GTN tablets as well. GTN tablets and spray are used under your tongue. The medicine is absorbed into your body very quickly this way, so it can be used for fast relief of chest pain caused by angina.
It's a good idea to learn how to take your GTN tablets and spray as soon as you get them. You might need to use them in a hurry if you get an angina attack. Tablets — 1 tablet under your tongue as soon as possible. If you're still in pain after 5 minutes you can have a second dose by putting Tnt heart medication more tablet under your tongue. If you're still in pain after 5 minutes you can have a third and final dose. Spray — 1 or 2 sprays under your tongue. If you're still in pain after 5 minutes you can have a second dose of 1 or 2 sprays under your tongue.
Do not use more than 3 doses during an angina attack. Tablets — put 1 tablet under your tongue before you start your activity. The tablets usually take 1 to 3 minutes to work. Spray — use 1 or 2 sprays under your tongue before you start your activity. The spray usually takes 1 to 3 minutes to work. Patches — usually you put on 1 patch in the morning and take it off before you go to bed at night. Each morning you put on a new patch. It's best to have 8 to 12 hours without a patch. Otherwise the GTN can stop working over time. Usually 1 patch a day is enough. If this does not work, your doctor might increase your dose, or tell you to keep the patch on for longer.
Ointment — your dose depends on how much GTN you can tolerate before getting a headache. Gradually increase the amount you use until you find the right dose for you. On the first day, use just over 1cm half an inch in the morning. You can use another 1cm every 3 or 4 hours if you need to. On the 2nd day, use 2cm in the morning. You can use another 2cm every 3 to 4 hours.
Increase your dose by 1cm each day, until the ointment gives you a headache. Your usual dose will be 1cm less than the dose that gave you a headache. The usual dose is between 2cm and 5cm 1 to 2 inches of ointment, repeated every 3 to 4 hours if you need it.
It's a good idea to have a spare, unopened bottle of tablets. It's important to not run out. Before using the spray for the first time, check it's working by pressing the button on the nozzle at the top of the bottle a few times, until a fine mist comes out.
Do a test spray onto a tissue so you know how it works. It's a good idea to have a spare spray. It's difficult to tell how much is left in a bottle and it's important to not run out. If you have put your patch on properly, you can have a warm not too hot bath or shower, or go swimming while the patch is on. If you have been prescribed ointment for an anal fissure, ask your doctor about the best way to apply it.
You may need to reduce your dose if you get too many side effects or if you start taking other medicines. Your doctor will discuss this with you. You may need a stronger dose if GTN stops working as well as it used to. This Tnt heart medication happens. Tell your doctor if you notice that GTN is not working as well as usual. If you forget to use your GTN before exerciseor another activity that could cause an angina attack, take it as soon as you remember. Do not restart the exercise or activity until the GTN has had the usual time to work.
If you forget to put your daily patch on at the usual time, put a new patch on as soon as you remember, unless it's nearly time for your next patch. In this case, just skip the missed patch and apply the next one at the usual time. If you miss a dose of your daily ointmentuse it as soon as possible, unless it's nearly time for your next dose. In this case, just leave out the missed dose and apply the next one as usual.
If you often forget doses, it may help to set an alarm or reminder to help you remember. You can ask a pharmacist for advice on other ways to help you to remember to use your medicine. If you use too much GTN spray, sit down and put your feet up if you feel faint. If you take too many tablets, remove any tablets that are left undissolved in your mouth. If you use too much ointment, wash it off. If you use too many patches, remove them. You might get side effects such as headaches, a fast heartbeat or feeling dizzy. However, you probably will not need medical treatment.
Contact your doctor if your symptoms do not get better. Like all medicines, GTN can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Side effects often improve as your body gets used to the medicine.
These common side effects happen in more than 1 in people, but some are less likely if you're using skin patches. In rare cases, it is possible to have a serious allergic reaction anaphylaxis to GTN. These are warning s of a serious allergic reaction and may need immediate treatment in hospital.
These are not all the side effects of GTN. For a full list see the leaflet inside your medicines packet. You can report any suspected side effect to the UK safety scheme. There's not enough research into whether GTN passes into breast milk. If your doctor and health visitor say your baby is healthy, GTN could be used during breastfeeding. If your doctor decides that you need to take GTN it is important that you keep taking it to keep you well. Breastfeeding will also benefit both you and your baby.
If you do breastfeed while taking GTN, look out for the side effects in your baby. If you notice Tnt heart medication your baby is not feeding as well as usual, or seems unusually sleepy, or if you have any other concerns Tnt heart medication your baby, talk to your health visitor or doctor. If you take other medicines that lower blood pressure with GTN, it can sometimes lower your blood pressure too much. This might make you feel dizzy or faint. If you take GTN tablets, tell a doctor or pharmacist if you take any medicines that make your mouth dry including some antidepressants, cold medicines or medicines for urinary incontinence.
Do not take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines NSAIDs regularly, such as ibuprofenaspirin and naproxen. These may make your angina worse. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you're taking any other medicines, including herbal medicines, vitamins or supplements. Nitrates are used to treat angina. Angina is chest pain that happens when not enough blood gets to the muscles of the heart. It usually happens because your arteries have become hardened and narrowed. Your heart muscles need the oxygen in blood to work.
If your heart needs to work harder, during exercise for example, it needs increased blood flow to get more oxygen. In angina, GTN works by widening blood vessels veins and arteries. This increases the blood supply to your heart, which gets more oxygen to your heart muscles and this reduces chest pain.
By widening blood vessels GTN also makes it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body, so your heart muscles get more oxygen, reducing the risk of getting chest pain. GTN tablets go out of date expire 8 weeks after the bottle is opened. This is because the active ingredient can evaporate, which means the tablets will not work properly after that time. Make sure you have a new supply of GTN to use after each pack expires. Always check the expiry date on the pack. After 8 weeks, if you have any tablets left in the bottle, return that bottle to a pharmacy so they can dispose of it in the right way.
If you have been using GTN regularly and you stop taking it, your angina may get worse. This may increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. If you are taking GTN and are bothered by side effects, speak to your doctor. They may be able to change your dose or prescribe a different medicine instead.
GTN is the Tnt heart medication medicine available for fast relief of angina symptoms and to prevent pain before exercise or physical effort. If you're having surgery, you need to let the doctors know that you use GTN. They might ask you to stop using GTN for a short time before surgery. This is because some of the medicines used to make you sleep and not feel pain during surgery anaesthetic can make the side effects of GTN worse. You must tell the doctor or nurse if you are wearing a GTN patch if you are going to have certain types of tests and treatments including:.
Alcohol increases the blood pressure lowering effect of GTN, so it can make you feel dizzy, faint or sleepy.
If this happens to you, it's best if you do not drink alcohol while you're taking GTN. If this does not happen to you, it's still better to not drink too much alcohol while you're taking GTN. You can eat normally while you are using GTN, but angina is a warning that you are at risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes.Tnt heart medication
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