When administred intravenously, for hours, nitroglycerin leads to unknown until now adverse effects like increasing the severity of a heart attack, according to a recent study conducted at The Standford University. Nitroglyceryn is a drug used in practice for over a century and that is why a proper clinical trial has never been conducted acoording to Daria Machly-Rosen author of the study. The study send a message to cardiologists to investigate the value and effects of nitroglycerin therapy that exteds for several hours.
Doctor Mochly-Rosen study also demonstrated that eventual damage to the heart tissue cand be drastically reduced by using a combined treatment with an enzyme activator also named Alda-1, which was discovered 3 years ago.
Nitroglicerin virtually is a legend in terms of hear disease treatment and is used by patients suffering from angina pectoris as tablets, and oral sprays. It is also one of the drugs which is administred after a heart attack, intravenously or using a transdermal patch in the E.R. Nitroglycerin has leads to very good results, at leas at first, dilating blood vessels so that the heart can receive the much needed oxygen. The bad part is that continous use of nitrogliceryn lead to desensitization.
In order to minimize desesitization to nitroglicerin, the patient uses the drug for a certain period than cesates, in order to use it again later on. The standart protocol for patients suffering form myocardial infarction is sixteen hours on nitroglycerin and eight hours without nitroglycerin use. Unique dose of nitroglycerin or occasional use has not been proven to lead to a decreased response.
The adverse effect that was not known until now was that nitroglycerin can actually harm the cardiac cells, in the case of a heart attack. Nitroglycerin alters an important enzyme known as ALDH2 and damages cells , enzyme that clears toxic products and free radicals, but also the source of the nitroglycerin power to relieve angina pectoris pain.
In other terms ALDH2 helps with the transformation of nitroglycerin to NO (nitric oxide) – one of the most powerfull vasodilators in the body. Nitric oxide lead to vasodilation of blood vessels thus increasing the blood flow to a certain area. It is quite a paradox that nitroglycerin affects and damages ALDH2 (the enzyme that it is the key of its beneficial effects).