Drugs Home > Nitroglycerin Tablets

What If I Overdose on This Medicine?

An overdose with this medication can be dangerous. If you or someone else may have taken too much, seek immediate medical attention.
(Click Nitrostat Overdose for more information.)

How Does It Work?

The nitroglycerin tablet works by relaxing the veins and arteries in the body. With the arteries and veins relaxed, the heart does not need to work so hard and does not require as much oxygen. Because angina is usually caused when there is not enough oxygen to meet the heart's needs, nitroglycerin tablets can help relieve angina attacks.

When and How to Use Nitroglycerin Tablets

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with nitroglycerin tablets include the following:
  • This medication comes in the form of a tablet that is dissolved under the tongue or between the cheek and gum. Do not chew or swallow the tablets.
  • If your chest pain continues after one tablet, you can take another one five minutes later. If chest pain is still not relieved after a third tablet, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Nitroglycerin tablets can also be used 5 to 10 minutes before activity that is anticipated to cause chest pain.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.

Storage Information

Nitroglycerin tablets should be stored at room temperature, protected from light and moisture. Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets. Keep the tablets in the original glass bottle they came in, and be aware of the expiration date on the bottle. Keep the bottle tightly capped.
Be aware that although nitroglycerin tablets often cause a tingling or burning sensation in the mouth, this sensation cannot be used to judge the potency of the tablets.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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