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Nitrates are a class      of medications that increase the release of nitric oxide (NO) in vascular smooth muscle cells, leading to smooth muscle

relaxation and subsequent vasodilation. Veins are affected more than arteries, and most therapeutic effects of nitrates result from venous pooling and subsequently decreased preload. Rapid- and short-acting nitrates are primarily used in the symptomatic treatment of acute angina pectoris

and hypertensive urgency. Side effects may include headache (nitrate-induced headache),  reflux

, and hypotension with syncope. Prior intake of PDE-5 inhibitors significantly increases the risk of hypotension.

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