Uses, Side Effects, and Treatments


About 20.1 million adults 20 and older in the United States have coronary artery disease, and chest pain can be a common and unpleasant reality for many of these people.

Chest pain has many different reasons, but the type called angina is usually caused by narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. If you have angina, there are medications to help treat it. Isosorbide mononitrate is one such drug.

If a doctor or health care professional has recommended that you take isosorbide mononitrate, this article may provide more information about how this drug works and potential side effects.

Isosorbide is classified as a nitrate drug. It works by releasing nitric oxide, which causes your blood vessels to widen. This is also known as vasodilation.

There are two forms of isosorbide: mononitrate and dinitrate. Isosorbide mononitrate differs from isosorbide dinitrate in the way it is metabolized by the liver. Isosorbide mononitrate does not undergo a first pass through the liver and takes several hours longer before being eliminated.

Isosorbide mononitrate relaxes your blood vessels and increases the supply of blood and oxygen to your heart. This helps reduce the workload on your heart. But isosorbide mononitrate does not cure coronary heart disease.

Isosorbide mononitrate can be found under a variety of brand names, including Imdur, Monoket, and Ismo. This medicine is available in immediate-release tablets as well as extended-release capsules.

Isosorbide mononitrate tablets are frequently prescribed to be taken two or three times a day, while the extended-release option can only be taken once a day. It is important to follow a doctor’s prescription exactly. The tablets should be taken whole and not crushed.

Isosorbide mononitrate is used to manage chest pain in people with coronary heart disease. It can also be used in combination with other medicines to help treat heart failure.

Those who live with obesity and diabetes and who smoke are also at increased risk of chest pain. But isosorbide mononitrate is not designed to treat these problems.

One thing to keep in mind is that this medication does not work fast enough to help with a heart attack. It is also not designed to be taken just before physical activity to prevent chest pain. Other medications may be prescribed and used in these situations.

Isosorbide mononitrate can cause nausea and you should tell a doctor if it gets serious.

Headaches or dizziness may also occur. For some people, the headaches may be severe or occur daily, but this may actually mean that the isosorbide is working properly. It is important not to stop taking isosorbide mononitrate as prescribed without discussing it with a doctor. Before taking medication for headache relief, you should also discuss the potential implications with a doctor.

You should tell a doctor if you experience rashes, hives, or itching. You should call 911 or local emergency services if you experience worsening chest pain or difficulty breathing and swallowing.

Alcohol can make the side effects of isosorbide worse, so you may want to abstain from drinking or limit your alcohol intake while taking this medication.

You should not take erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra while taking isosorbide mononitrate. Taking the two together can cause a sudden and severe drop in blood pressure.

It is important to discuss any plans to stop using isosorbide mononitrate with a doctor, as stopping suddenly can lead to a serious attack of angina pectoris. (It’s a good idea to fill your prescription before you run out to avoid missing a dose.)

Isosorbide mononitrate may not work as well if you have taken it for a long time or if you have taken too many doses. To help prevent this, a doctor will schedule your doses so that there is a time of day when you are not exposed to the drug.

Isosorbide mononitrate is a generic medication prescribed for chest pain related to heart disease. It is classified as a nitrate and can be found under many different brand names, including Imdur, Monoket, and Ismo.

Isosorbide mononitrate is not an emergency rescue medication and should not be used to treat heart attacks. If you experience sudden, severe chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 or local emergency services immediately.


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