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Long-Acting Nitroglycerin for Angina, 1982: Old Dog, New Tricks

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Department of Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ann Intern Med. 1982;97(5):774-776. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-97-5-774
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Treatment of angina with nitroglycerin is more than 100 years old, but recent advances promise to revolutionize its use (1). With intravenous, long-acting transdermal and long-acting transmucosal nitroglycerin recently available, we stand on the threshold of an era of rational, effective nitroglycerin prophylaxis. To provide real benefits to patients, clinicians will have to use nitroglycerin more critically and systematically than in the past.

The basic action of nitroglycerin is relaxation of vascular smooth muscle (2). The molecular mechanism of this action remains unclear. Although calcium flux may be altered, nitroglycerin is not similar in mechanism to nifedipine, verapamil, and diltiazem


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