What is GTN?
GTN or gliceryl trinitrate is a type of medicine belonging to the nitrate group of drugs. It is also called “nitroglycerin” and is typically used for the treatment of patients with angina (chest pain) or heart failure. Other indications for this drug include acute myocardial infarction, anal fissures, severe high blood pressure, and spasms in the coronary artery secondary to cocaine abuse.
GTN works by causing relaxation in the blood vessels. By doing this, the drug allows widening of these blood vessels and helps improve blood flow. With an improved blood flow, an improvement in oxygen transport goes along with it resulting to less stress on the heart to pump blood for the various organs in the body. In the case of angina, GTN restores normal blood concentration of the substance nitric oxide and thereby alleviating this particular symptom. Through fatty acid build-up in the blood vessels, blood flow will be greatly impeded and when this case happens to the heart muscles, the characteristic chest pain will occur.
GTN is generally considered a safe medication. But there are also instances wherein this drug may not be prescribed. These instances include cases wherein patients have a history of hypotension, cases involving previous hemorrhage or injuries to the head, and cases that involve some disease to the liver and kidneys. And as with any other drug, GTN may also cause some side effects while under this medication. Some patients will experience dizziness, flushing, and maybe some headaches. If any discomfort is felt while on medication, patients are advised to seek the advice of their doctors immediately.
GTN or nitroglycerin is available in many different preparations. The type of preparation may depend on what is deemed best by doctors. The most common are in table form which may be prescribed for sublingual or buccal use. GTN is also available in aerosol spray, ointment, and patch preparations.