Nitroglycerin

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Generic Name: Nitroglycerin Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is nitroglycerin used for?

Nitroglycerin is commonly used for treating high blood pressure during surgery, controlling congestive heart failure associated with heart attack, treating chest pain in certain patients, and lowering blood pressure during surgery.

Nitroglycerin is a nitrate. It works by relaxing (widening) blood vessels. Chest pain occurs when the heart needs more oxygen than it can get. Relaxing blood vessels allows blood to flow more easily. This reduces the heart’s workload and the amount of oxygen needed by the heart.

How should I take nitroglycerin?

Take nitroglycerin by mouth.

Use nitroglycerin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

Nitroglycerin is given as an injection at your doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.

How do I store nitroglycerin?

Nitroglycerin is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store nitroglycerin in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of nitroglycerin that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush nitroglycerin down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using nitroglycerin?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of nitroglycerin or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You drink alcoholic beverages.
  • You have a history of other heart problems (e.g., heart failure, enlarged heart, heart attack), overactive thyroid, stroke or other bleeding in the brain, or recent head injury.
  • You have anemia, low blood pressure, dehydration, or low blood volume.

Do not use nitroglycerin if:

  • You are allergic to any ingredient in nitroglycerin.
  • You have had a stroke or other bleeding in the brain, swelling of the sac surrounding the heart, or interference of blood returning to the heart.
  • You are taking avanafil, riocituat, sildenafil, tadalafil, or vardenafil.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from nitroglycerin?

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:

  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Headache
  • Irritation at the injection site

Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:

  • Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue)
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Fainting
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Flushing
  • Heavy sweating
  • Pale skin
  • Restlessness
  • Severe or persistent dizziness or headache
  • Severe or persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with nitroglycerin?

Nitroglycerin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Avanafil, beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol), calcium channel blockers (e.g., diltiazem), diuretics (e.g., furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), medicines for high blood pressure, phenothiazines (e.g., thioridazine), riociguat, sildenafil, tadalafil, or vardenafil because the risk of low blood pressure and dizziness on standing may be increased.
  • Salicylates (e.g., aspirin) because they may increase the risk of nitroglycerin’s side effects.
  • Long-acting nitrates (e.g., nitroglycerin patch) because they may decrease nitroglycerin’s effectiveness.
  • Alteplase because it may decrease nitroglycerin’s effectiveness.
  • Heparin because its effectiveness may be decreased by nitroglycerin.

Does food or alcohol interact with nitroglycerin?

Nitroglycerin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with nitroglycerin?

Nitroglycerin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using nitroglycerin.

What is the dose of nitroglycerin for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Angina Pectoris

Intravenous solution: 5 mcg/min continuous IV infusion via non-absorptive tubing; increase by 5 mcg/min every 3 to 5 minutes as needed up to 20 mcg/min, then by 10 or 20 mcg/min if needed.

Lingual spray: 1 to 2 sprays (0.4 to 0.8 mg) on or under tongue every 5 minutes as needed, up to 3 sprays in 15 minutes; if pain persists after maximum dose, prompt medical attention is recommended.

Sublingual tablet: 0.3 to 0.6 mg sublingually or in the buccal pouch every 5 minutes as needed, up to 3 doses in 15 minutes; if pain persists after maximum dose, prompt medical attention is recommended.

Usual Adult Dose for Angina Pectoris Prophylaxis

Lingual spray: 1 to 2 sprays (0.4 to 0.8 mg) on or under tongue 5 to 10 minutes prior to activity that might precipitate an acute attack

Sublingual tablet: 0.3 to 0.6 mg sublingually or in the buccal pouch 5 to 10 minutes prior to engaging in activities that might precipitate an acute attack

Topical ointment: 1/2 inch (7.5 mg) topically upon rising and 1/2 inch (7.5 mg) 6 hours later; titrate as needed and tolerated

Transdermal patch: 0.2 to 0.4 mg/hr patch applied topically once a day for 12 to 14 hours per day; titrate as needed and tolerated up to 0.8 mg/hr

Extended release capsule: 2.5 to 6 mg orally 3 to 4 times a day; titrate as needed and tolerated.

Usual Adult Dose for Myocardial Infarction

Intravenous solution: 5 mcg/min continuous IV infusion via non-absorptive tubing; increase by 5 mcg/min every 3 to 5 minutes as needed up to 20 mcg/min, then by 10 or 20 mcg/min if needed.

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension

Intravenous solution: 5 mcg/min continuous IV infusion via non-absorptive tubing; increase by 5 mcg/min every 3 to 5 minutes as needed up to 20 mcg/min, then by 10 or 20 mcg/min if needed.

Usual Adult Dose for Anal Fissure and Fistula

Rectal ointment: 1 inch of ointment (375 mg of ointment equivalent to 1.5 mg of nitroglycerin) intra-anally every 12 hours for up to 3 weeks.

What is the dose of nitroglycerin for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is nitroglycerin available?

Nitroglycerin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet 0,5mg
  • Ointment 2%

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of nitroglycerin, contact your doctor right away.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

Review Date: August 23, 2017 | Last Modified: September 2, 2017

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