Journal Mobile

Author(s): 
AR Butler
Journal Issue: 
Volume 36: Issue 2: 2006

 

Although  one  group  of  drugs  (including  amyl  nitrite  and  glyceryl tinitrate) has been used in the treatment of angina for over 100 years, the mode of  action  became  clear  only  after  the  endothelium-derived  relaxing  factor  had been identified as nitric oxide in 1987.  Originally sodium nitrite was included in this group of drugs but it rapidly fell out of favour.  Recently, however, interest in its  therapeutic  use  has  been  revived.  The  medical  uses  of  saltpetre  (potassium nitrate) may be due to the presence of nitrite as an impurity.