Log in
British Heart Foundation
9,641 members5,833 posts

The spray!

Had my HA about five months ago and as yet I feel fine and enjoy life.....but when I go out I always take my spray with me...in case!

My question is...…….should I ever need to use it, what can I expect?

32 Replies
oldestnewest

If it is a GTN spray it will give you a headache for a few minutes but it should gt rid of the chest pain.

Reply

Its Nirolingual Pump Spray?.....if that's the one then thanks for your thoughts.

2 likes
Reply

It's action dilates (opens) the blood vessels so you can sometimes have sensation of rush of blood to the head. As Jimmy says sometimes a headache a pounding feeling in the head. I experienced a headache for about an HR the first time I used my gtn spray however on subsequent use not as much. If you ever need to use it maybe try and sit down the first time. It also lowers blood pressure another reason to sit until you know how you react. Having said that it's very safe and won't cause you any harm and you may not even get a headache so use it if you need to and don't worry. All best.

Reply

Thanks Nathan...……….its just nice to know what to expect!

Reply

Always take the time to sit, relax and spray. Wait until the immediate effect has diminished and you will feel and obtain the full benefits. I started taking mine as I walked and had all of the effects, all mixed up and was never sure if I felt any better.

1 like
Reply

Nitrolingual pump spray contains the active ingredient Glyceryl TriNitrate, which it why it is called a GTN spray. The action is as others described. If at any stage you find you need it regularly an anti-anginal like isosorbide mononitrate may be appropriate.

Reply

Thanks Michael

Reply

When I was on it,after a squirt I could play badminton for an hour without any problems.x

Reply

I only use mine when I get pain in my jaw.

Reply

The first (only) time I used it I felt weird and passed out. It was very scary as I hadn't expected such a reaction. Having recently been referred for chest pain I was very scared and got my wife to call 999. They took me to A&E as a precaution but I was fine. I haven't dared take it since! Fortunately I haven't needed to.

1 like
Reply

Snap! The only time I've used mine I hit the deck, then threw up when I came round. A night in hospital revealed nothing untoward, but two days later I was back in A&E with VTs.

Reply

Thanks everyone....it seems that if I do use it, sit down and expect the unexpected!...………...I can do that!

2 likes
Reply

I keep my spray with me at all times as I have had bad angina attacks both at home and work. The headache doesn't last long. I keep the spray in a small plastic food bag along with a copy of my current prescription and all personal details as when an ambulance has to be called this is the info they need and you may not be able to speak to them, in my case due to breathlessness. If the attack isn't bad and only needs one lot of spray I find I just need to rest for about an hour. Hopefully you'll never need it!

Reply

My heart nurse said carry a spray in every jacket, in the car etc. So I ordered one with every monthly prescription for some months until I had enough. Only used a couple of times but worked well on second squert. It can be literally a life saver - carry it everywhere. I didn't need it for some months but then out of the blue I did.

Reply

that's a good thought!

Reply

Remember to check the use by date. The cardiac nurse on my rehab course told us to and mine was several months out of date. Also if you do not need to use it for some time do not get lulled into thinking that you do not need to carry it at all times. I went 18 months after having stents inserted with no angina and then had 1 bout out of the blue, followed by another a couple of weeks later, but nothing in the 6 months since.

1 like
Reply

I found it dropped my BP too low and I was scarily faint and dizzy. During a trip to A&E the paramedics suggested I try the little tablet you put under your tongue instead because you can take that out if you feel peculiar. The spray is a measured dose that you can't get rid of. The tablets are stronger but you can remove them when the pain eases off. My GP was fine with me using them.

Reply

Hi Qualipop, I haven't used my GTN yet as I have Low Blood pressure and was warned in Hospital (6 months ago) it may well 'knock me out' ! I have been prescribed Isosorbide mononitrate 10mg to be taken 2x daily as a slow releasing alternative - is this the same Tablet you use to stick under your tongue? I only ask because I find the Headache near intolerable when I take the Isosorbide and I would welcome the idea of removing the drug when feeling better and without ingesting the 'full dose'.

Reply

I have that too (Elantan) but my GP questions whether i need it because I have never had what I consider to be angina; ie pain. I do get bouts of breathlessness which the paramedics told me were also angina and that's why they gave me the tablets but I've only ever used them twice. I am presently struggling with low BP caused by my tablets, Candesartan. I've been on them about 6 weeks so they have hit max strength now but have dropped my BP to 101/51 and 110/55. I can't function without keeling over. Didn't take one this morning and BP was still 111/54. WIthout them it used to be around 128/74 to 135 80 but the cardio wanted me on them after a heart attack. I'm only on a 2mg dose.

Reply

Qualipop, is it the Elantan that you place and remove from under your tongue ?

Reply

NO, Elantan are capsules - Isosorbide mononitrate the same that you take. The tablets under the tongue are for angina attacks like the spray is. They are just called Glyceryl Trinitrate 500mg tablets. They are stronger than the spray which is I Think 300mg. I just feel more comfortable with them than with the spray just because I know I can remove one if I start to feel faint ( as long as the pain has gone of course). You are not really supposed to remove them, you are supposed to let hem dissolve but my GP showed me how and when I could do it. You can't remove the spray once it's in your mouth.

Reply

Hi qualipop I’m in candesartan. My doctor told me to take one 4 mg one wk then two on the second wk until I got to 4 x4 mg a day. That was on the 5th November. When I went doctors last week and my BP was low he told me that was too much and dropped me down to 2x4mg a day. Although I have done this my BP is still low arhhhhh x

Reply

Apparently it takes between 4 and 6 weeks to get to working at full strength which I've just done. I was going to move it to evening so didn't take one this morning and my BP was still 100/51. I spoke to the GP who has told me to stop it completely for 2 weeks but do regular checks and see how it settles down. I was only on 2mg a day. I didn't have high BP before the heart attack although it was creeping up a bit towards 140/78 but the GP wasn't worried about it at my age (70). They have already stopped bisopralol because of hallucinations so I'm on nothing at all for BP for a couple of weeks. Tonight it's 130/76 which is about what it's been on an evening when I was taking the tablets. I was on ramipril but that dropped it so low I could barely walk into another room and dozed all day. I believe it does take a week or two to settle down when you drop the dose. If mine goes back too high I will have to start it again or try something different that works in a different way. I do also take diuretics. What puzzles me is that even with the low BP , my pulse is still in the upper 90s to about 106.

1 like
Reply

My wife has the same spray as you, having had two heart attacks and three stents fitted. If there is one imoirtant thing apart from keeping the spray with you at all times it is to make sure it is within use by date! Jane had a very bad angina attack a few months back and despite repeating the spray for 3 times it did not work, in the meantime I had called the paramedics and they came and immediately saw her spray was a month out of date -only a month! Fortunately they were able to treat her and get her to hospital just in case but it was really scary for me and her. Now we always make sure to order regularly even though it might not be used in emergency - it is not worth taking any risks with your life. A spare is a good idea too, sometimes she forgets where the spray is ( too many places and handbags!) so knowing you have another in date and in a safe place is good insurance.

Do take care and yes you should sit down to use the spray with the side effects you have had but also because your chest pains are telling you to rest a while.

Reply

A rush and a banging headache!

Reply

I was given a GTN spray after my HA 6 years ago.

I was told to use it if I suffered chest pains.....looking back I think a lot more detailed information would have been helpful.

I have subsequently found out that it is mainly for emergencies (another HA) and for sufferers of angina.

I don't suffer from angina and have fortunately avoided a second HA even though my angiogram showed an 85-95% blockage in the distal LAD (not possible to stent this apparently).

I have only used it once in six years when I had chest pains which were probably the result of a bad cold, lots of coughing and strained chest muscle.

It made me feel a bit dizzy, did nothing for the chest pain and gave me a headache, my advice is for a first time user, make sure you're sitting down and preferably have someone with you.

Hopefully you won't ever have to use it.

Good luck.

Reply

Hi, iv had mine about 7 wks now, the first time I used it, I pressed hard and long so had loads!! Wow shouldn't have done that felt like my tongue was on fire and head bursting, so don't do that, it's fine now though, just sit down a quick spray then u will have a slight burning under your to tongue then your brain will be abit fuzzy and tingle but fine, u may get a headache but normal then your heart will feel abit jittery as it works then I take deep breaths if I can, seems to help me then it will all calm down only takes minutes then you can carry on. Hope this helps abit, for me the first time was a bit wild but I learnt from my mistake and it's fine now. Take care

Reply

Just a quick add on to my message always carry it with you, as without it I don't know what would have happened. You may not need it for weeks then you exert yourself or something stresses you then wham you need it...Another thing although taking it and the effect takes minutes, especially for people that are not used to taking it, wait awhile and relax before resuming what you were doing,. Or if too stressful get yourself out of there and have quite time if you need it. Take care

Reply

thanks Arty56...…………..we are all stepping into the unknown...…….so all information add to our sum of knowledge!

Reply

My wife squirted me in the eye, useally when your needing the

spray you are in a bit of a panic, so be careful.

I have only used it once.The eyes coming along nicely lol

Reply

we don't usually get a "laugh out loud" moments on here really......but yours was one for me!

Reply

hi!.. i was diagnosed with microvascular angina.. i always carry my gtn spray wherever i go.. only had to use it a few times.. also on isorobide and ivabradine..was on spirolactone (think that’s how you spell it).. but ended up in hospital for 24 hours when i began to feel unwell with heart rate of 48 , bp of 169/90 and resps of 24.. paramedic said there was a lot of stuff going on lol.. spirilactone was stopped and that seems to have solved problems of low heat rate... i class my gtn as my insurance policy😉

1 like
Reply

You may also like...