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Imdur or generic Isosorbide Mononitrate Controlled Release is an anti-anginal medication prescribed to prevent an angina attack. This is not for immediate relief of the pain of angina; instead it is a drug that slowly releases throughout the day, so it is not effective for stopping an attack in progress. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Imdur may allow you a higher tolerance to exercise without having an angina attack and also reduce the number, length, and severity of episodes you have. Angina attacks are associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). They are a symptom of CAD and could be a precursor to a heart attack. Imdur is not a cure for coronary artery disease, but it will help prevent the chest pains you experience.
Isosorbide Mononitrate, the active ingredient in Imdur is a type of medicine called a nitrate. It is converted in the body to a chemical called nitric oxide. This chemical is made naturally by the body and has the effect of making the veins and arteries relax and widen. This makes it easier for the heart to pump blood around the body. Widening the veins also decreases the volume of blood that returns to the heart with each heartbeat and this makes it easier for the heart to pump that blood out again.
A reduced blood supply to your heart is usually due to plaque deposits that clog your arteries and rob your heart of essential oxygen-rich blood. When you are at rest, your heart can manage to make-do with a decreased blood flow and you won’t have any angina pain. Physical exertion amps up your hearts’ need for more blood and oxygen, but the plaque build-up can prevent this so your heart becomes starved and this is the pain you feel. Diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and obesity are some of the risk factors for an angina attack. You may need another fast-acting nitrate drug for sudden angina attacks.
Ask your doctor if Imdur is safe to take if you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or are breast feeding. Go over a list of current Rx drugs and OTC meds with your doctor, including dietary and vitamin supplements and homeopathic remedies as any of these could cause unintended side effects when taken with Imdur or change how this drugs works in your body. Discuss other medical conditions and allergies you have so your doctor can determine if Imdur is the right drug for your situation.
Imdur should not be used to treat an angina attack, as it does not work quickly enough. It should be taken regularly, as prescribed, to prevent angina attacks. You will need a different medication to use for a sudden angina attack. Until you know how Imdur will affect you, do not drive or take part in any activities that require you to be alert and clear-headed.