GENERIC NAME: isosorbide mononitrate
BRAND NAMES: Imdur (discontinued brand), Ismo (discontinued brand), Monoket
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Isosorbide mononitrate is in the class of drugs called nitrates that are used for treating and preventing angina. Other nitrates include nitroglycerin (Nitrostat, NitroQuick, Nitrolingual, Nitro-Dur and others) and isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil Titradose, Dilatrate-SR, Isochron). Nitrates are vasodilators (dilators of blood vessels). Blood returning from the body in the veins must be pumped by the heart through the lungs and into the body's arteries against the high pressure in the arteries. In order to accomplish this work, the heart's muscle must produce and use energy ("fuel") which requires oxygen brought to the heart by the blood. The FDA approved isosorbide mononitrate in December 1991.
Angina pectoris (angina) or "heart pain" is due to an inadequate flow of blood (and oxygen) to the muscle of the heart. Nitrates, including isosorbide mononitrate, correct the imbalance between the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart and the work that the heart must do by dilating the arteries and veins in the body. Dilation of the veins reduces the amount of blood that returns to the heart that must be pumped. Dilation of the arteries lowers the pressure in the arteries against which the heart must pump. As a consequence of both effects, the heart works less and requires less blood and oxygen.
Quick GuideHeart Disease: Symptoms, Signs, and Causes
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