When to take Nitro? Are the symptoms of a MI always the same?

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New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/12/2010 1:00 PM (GMT -6)   

First Question:

Everything on the internet says when you have chest pain, take nitro.

I have done that for 4 years.

Then yesterday I gave out on a hill bike riding.  Shortness of breath, light headed, nausea, doom, sever weakness, and like I was about to pass out.  It was only 65 degrees and I was not pushing it.  This is similar to how my MI started in 2005 days before chest and neck did the traditional warning signs to got me in to the ER.  So yesterday I took the nitro and felt ok enough to get back. 

I looked at the internet and it ONLY talks about taking it for chest pain (angina) and not for all the other symptoms of a heart problems.

This does not sound right? 


The vast majority of the time I deal with shortness of breath.  Two web sights talked a bit about not being conservative and simply take it whenever you feel like it.  I was thinking about starting to take it when I work out as most of the time shortness of breath makes it hard or anytime I get short of breath.  I am beginning to wonder if waiting for the pain to hit is the only time, especially since mine is so very low level. 


Second Question:

The symptoms are different for everyone, but do they always stay the same for an individual?  Does the symptoms change for different parts of the heart?

For the last 4 years, the symptoms have always been chest pain (1 from 1 to 10), neck if chest is all the way to a 1 on pain/sensation, and shortness of breath.  Yesterday reminds me of 2005 when the only decisive point was sudden weakness, nausea, and doom.




Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/12/2010 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome,

Nitroglycerin is prescribed to prevent and treat angina pectoris. You did not state that you have angina but if your using NTG I would assume you are. Angina condition occurs when the coronary arteries become constricted and are not able to carry sufficient oxygen to the heart muscle. Nitroglycerin is thought to improve oxygen flow by relaxing the walls of arteries and veins, thus allowing them to dilate. I would suggest you talk with your physcian.

If you think you are having a heart attack, DO NOT DELAY, seek help.

Not all people will have the same sx when having a heart attack to the best of my knowledge.

I hope this helps.



New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/13/2010 12:54 PM (GMT -6)   

"Angina condition occurs when the coronary arteries become constricted and are not able to carry sufficient oxygen to the heart muscle"

That is what I am talking about.  Yes, angina occurs in many people when the heart is not getting enough blood.   And a heart attack is when the blood/oxygen drops to the point or long enough that the muscle starts to die.  This is what is so confusing.  Angina is but one of many symptoms of a heart attack or one on the way.  So lets say we have a person with every symptom of a oxygen starved heart except for angina.  Common sense says they too should take Nitro to get oxygen to the heart just like us.  It's just that their symtoms are different than those who have angina.  The internet and doctors make a good list that we can agree covers about 99% of the people with heart problems, yet when it comes to the list of reasons to take Nitro, it is down to 1 symptom.

I never take Nitro for the pain as the pain is very low level and more of a strange sensation.   I take Nitro because the pain is like you say, an indication of a blood & oxygen starved heart that if left that way may start having muscle die (AKA MI or Heart Attack).  And for me, I see the shortness of breath go away. 

I think it is time to bug my doctor.

BTW - I rode again today and it is much hotter.  Much better than Tue. when *&%$ hit the fan.  I keep reminding my self that is not an all clear for the heart.  It tends to throw you some good days to cover up problems too.  Lol!

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