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Nitrates are beneficial in post-myocardial infarction patients with stable, unstable, and Prinzmetal's variant angina and as adjunctive therapy in congestive heart failure. They are available in multiple formulations that differ in chemical structure, pharmacokinetics, onset and duration of activity, and peak effect; all of these variables may condition the choice of nitrate preparation and routes of administration. Other conditions, such as different types of angina, intensity of symptomatology, psychological attitude, patient's compliance, and cost of treatment, have to be taken into account. The potential problem of nitrate tolerance requires further evaluation and can be prevented or reversed with intermittent-dosing regimens. Up-to-date nitrates continue to be a mainstay in the treatment of patients with myocardial infarction, especially if complicated by painful or silent ischemia.