while discussing the antianginal drugs, especially Nitrates I found there is a lot to tell you. Mainly, on the precautions that you must take while administering IV nitroglycerine. So I thought to write a separate post on the nursing considerations. I believe this would be useful for you throughout your nursing career and while preparing for any international nursing licence exams.

I arranged the points under two headings. First,  points to remember on administering all preparations other than IV and  Second,  points to remember on administering IV Nitroglycerine.



Oral Sustained-Release Tablets of NTG should be taken on an empty stomach with full glass of water

GTN tablet

Carry S/L tablets in the glass bottle, tightly capped. Nitroglycerin can lose potency if exposed to light, moisture, or heat. Also to discard the tablets and get a new supply every 8 weeks. Now, NTG sprays are prefered over the tablets due to the longer shelf life when compared to its S/L form.

Cartoon Ambulance Car Stock Animation | 10496218 for Ambulance Animation

If the chest pain is not relieved by 1 S/L tab, give 2 more tabs with a 5-minute interval. even after the third tablet (within 15 minutes), the pain persists, shift the client to the emergency department as the chest pain can be an MI and not Angina. your chest pain… is it simply a chest pain or a heart attack???

tablet intake sitting position

S/L tabs or sprays to be taken in sitting position to avoid postural hypotension



Explain that slight stinging, burning, or tingling under the tongue indicates the potency of the drug. Get a new supply if these sensations are not present.

avoid alcoho

Avoid alcohol, hot baths, saunas, and whirlpools, as they can cause vasodilatation and lead to hypotension and fainting.


To minimise the tolerance to NTG the patches are removed after 12 hours. And a 12-hour gap is given before the next patch

  •  Instruct client to not take sildenafil (Viagra) within 24 hours after taking
    nitrates, and wait 24 hours after taking Viagra to resume nitrate therapy



Use glass containers and tubings or PVC tubings to administer IV GTN. (other materials absorb it and reduce potency)

syringe n infusion pump

Administer  using an infusion pump that can maintain constant infusion rate


Strictly maintain BP CHART. Monitor the BP every 5 -15 minutes

NTG patch

Remove topical forms when starting IV infusion

  • Administer nitroglycerine diluted in 5% dextrose. Do not mix it with any other drugs
  • Nitrates can develop a tolerance to the drug. May need 10-12 hr/day nitrate-free interval to avoid tolerance development
  • Sudden cessation of the therapy may cause withdrawal reactions. Gradually reduce the dose and withdraw the therapy.
  • Intravenous Drip:  Begin at 5 mcg/min and titrate every 3-5 minutes to therapeutic response and stable vital signs. Titrate NTG infusion until relief of chest pain or a maximum of 200 mcg/min dose is achieved.



your chest pain… is it simply a chest pain or a heart attack???

Image result for images angina pectoris

It’s a common topic of discussion these days,  about the chest pain and heart attack. Several videos and writings regarding the topic and how to manage it is flying through the social media daily. Yes, it is a serious thing. But, do you think every chest pain of yours is a heart attack?. I thought to share with you what is my knowledge on the topic.


A chest pain which is felt like pressing, squeezing, choking or bursting and radiating to the left hand, shoulders, and left side of neck and jaw could be a serious symptom of a heart attack. At the same time, it could be a minor attack of angina pectoris. So,

what is the difference between Angina Pectoris and Myocardial Infarction(MI)?


  • Angina Pectoris is a symptom
  • Anginal pain is expressed as squeezing, chocking type felt at the Sternum
  • Angina can be different types
  • Caused by a decrease in oxygen supply to the heart muscles or an increased demand of oxygen
  • Maybe precipitated by activity or can occur during rest
  • ECG change noticed – ST depression
  • Investigated with the help of Stress Test
  • Relieved by rest or administration of Nitroglycerine


  • MI is a medical emergency
  • The chest pain is expressed to be crushing and typically spreads from the heart to the left arm, shoulders, jaw, neck, and back
  • Caused by the damaged myocardial cells resulting from  myocardial infarction (lack of oxygen supply to myocardium)
  • ECG shows a T wave inversion and an ST segment depression or elevation
  • Investigated mainly by labs – cardiac enzyme levels
  • Not relieved by rest or any medicines. Needed supportive therapy with Oxygen, analgesics, and positioning


Do you get additional points to add? .Please comment in the comment box.

Have a happy, pain-free life …