Nitroglycerin tablets are taken sublingually or as an extended-release capsule, according to MedlinePlus. A nitroglycerin spray is also available to take orally. Dissolve sublingual nitroglycerin tablets in the mouth as needed. Patients swallow extended-release capsules three to four times daily. Sublingual tables are designed to work very quickly during the first signs of an angina attack.
Drugs.com explains that people dissolve sublingual nitroglycerin tablets under the tongue, in the cheek or between the cheek and gum. Patients experiencing an angina attack consume a sublingual tablet every five minutes until symptoms abate, or until they dissolve three tablets in 15 minutes. If an angina attack lasts more than 15 minutes, contact a doctor immediately.
Extended-release nitroglycerin capsules help prevent angina, according to MedlinePlus. This medication does not cure coronary artery disease, but patients should continue to use these tablets until otherwise directed by a doctor. Medical professionals may schedule doses to give patients a break from the medication, because nitroglycerin loses its effectiveness when taken many times in a row.
Nitroglycerin medication treats episodes of angina, or chest pain, caused by coronary artery disease. Nitroglycerin works by dilating blood vessels to allow blood to flow more easily through the body. Drugs.com explains that wider blood vessels reduce the workload of the heart and lower the amount of oxygen needed by the organ.