How does nitroglycerin help people at risk for a heart attack?



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    In order for blood to be successfully and efficiently pumped through the lungs and into the arteries, the heart muscle must provide enough energy, using its oxygen supply. Nitrates such as nitroglycerin balance the flow of blood and oxygen when angina (heart pain) occurs. Nitroglycerin helps the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart by dilating the blood vessels, providing much needed relief to “suffocating” heart tissue. For this reason, nitroglycerin is believed to alleviate the onset of heart attack, but users should be advised that it is not approved by the FDA to be used for this purpose. Nitroglycerin should always be used only as prescribed, and must not be taken as a preventative measure or during the onset of heart attack. Such decisions, rightly, should be left to the discretion of a licensed physician.

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