Drugs treating angina

Diane S. Aschenbrenner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


• Nitroglycerin is used to treat angina and to prevent angina. When given intravenously, it also is used to reduce hypertension. • Nitroglycerin relaxes vascular smooth muscle and dilates both arterial and venous beds. Dilation of veins is more predominant than dilation of arteries, resulting in peripheral pooling of blood and decreased preload. • Blood pressure decreases as a result of venous dilation. Refl ex tachycardia may follow the drop in blood pressure. Thus, the patient's blood pressure is assessed before each dose and during drug therapy with nitroglycerin, and the pulse should be assessed during therapy. • Arteriolar dilation reduces systemic vascular resistance and arterial pressure, thus reducing afterload. Reduced afterload decreases the work the heart must perform to eject blood from the left ventricle and thereby decreases the oxygen needs of the heart. • The most common adverse effect of nitroglycerin is headache. • When nitroglycerin is given intravenously because of elevated blood pressure, the patient must be continually monitored in an intensive care setting. For safety, the drug should be administered by pump.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDrug Therapy in Nursing
PublisherWolters Kluwer Health Adis (ESP)
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781469819174
ISBN (Print)9781451187663
StatePublished - Nov 7 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Drugs treating angina'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this