Nitroglycerin latest medication shortage – CBC

‘This isn’t the only medication that is shorted’

May 17, 2023

Nitroglycerin, which is used to treat heart pain, has been difficult to come by recently, joining a long list of drugs that have faced shortfalls in the last few years.

“It is frustrating because this isn’t the only medication that is shorted,” said Sheri Koshman, a cardiac pharmacist and professor in the cardiology division at the University of Alberta.

“There’s all kinds of medication that is shorted all the time, and it’s always this circle that goes round and round and round.”

In recent months shortages of painkillers and antibiotics have also been reported.

Nitroglycerin can be used for long-term control and quick relief of heart pain, and it is the latter type where there is a shortage. Nitroglycerin dilates arteries and veins, so someone with blockages in their heart arteries can use it to open them up a little more.

For some people, nitroglycerine is an option they keep on hand but rarely use, and they will probably be OK during this shortage, said Koshman. The drug is safe to use up to a year after its expiry date, she said.

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