This section is from the "A Handbook of Useful Drugs" book, by State Medical Examining and Licensing Boards.
A compound of glyceryl with nitric acid obtained by the action of nitric acid on glycerol in the presence of sulphuric acid.
Properties : Nitroglycerin is a moderately volatile explosive liquid slightly soluble in water, but quite soluble in alcohol.
Action and Uses: Although a nitrate, nitroglycerin has the physiologic action of nitrites but acts more slowly than amyl nitrite. It may be given when it is desired to effect a steady reduction of the arterial pressure, but it gradually becomes inefficient. For this purpose it may be prescribed in arteriosclerosis, and in nephritis in which a high blood-pressure is a prominent symptom. It is used with success in some cases of angina pectoris. It is sometimes combined with digitalis in order to neutralize the contraction of the arterioles by the digitalis under the belief that therapeutic doses of digitalis exert a pronounced vasoconstrictor action.