London: Nitroglycerin, routinely used to dilate blood vessels in heart disease patients, could end up damaging the heart muscles.
A Stanford University team found that rats dosed with it for 16 hours sustained twice the muscle damage when they had heart attacks, compared to those spared nitroglycerin.
Nitroglycerin is often used to help treat angina. It is also used immediately after a heart attack, the journal Science Translational Medicine reports.
Daria Mochly-Rosen, professor of translational medicine at Standord, said they carried out the study because they were concerned that nitroglycerin use in angina patients could be increasing the severity of heart attacks, according to The Telegraph.
The team has found that giving an enzyme killed by nitroglycerin at the same time protected rats` hearts from the harmful side-effects.