Pfizer originally discovered the medication in 1989 while looking for a treatment for heart-related chest pain. It was approved for medical use in the United States and in the European Union in 1998. In 2017, it was the 217th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than two million prescriptions. In 2017, it became available as a generic medication after final patents by Pfizer expired. In the United Kingdom, it is available over the counter.