Sodium nitroprusside


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


What is nitroprusside sodium used for?

Nitroprusside sodium is commonly used for treating congestive heart failure and life-threatening high blood pressure (hypertension). It is also used to keep blood pressure low during a surgery.

Nitroprusside sodium may also be used for purposes; ask your doctor for more information.

How should I take nitroprusside sodium?

To take this drug,

  • Nitroprusside is injected into a vein through an infusion pump. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting.
  • Nitroprusside is usually given for as long as needed until your body responds to the nitroprusside s
  • Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs will be watched closely while you are receiving nitroprusside. Your blood and urine may also need to be tested during treatment.

How do I store nitroprusside sodium?

Nitroprusside sodium is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store nitroprusside sodium in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of nitroprusside sodium 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 nitroprusside sodium 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 nitroprusside sodium?

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to nitroprusside, or if you have:

  • Hereditary vision loss (Leber’s disease)
  • Vision problems caused by smoking
  • A history of blood clot in your brain

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?


There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Nitroprusside Sodium during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this Nitroprussid Sodium. This Nitroprusside Sodium 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


It is not known whether nitroprusside passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from nitroprusside sodium?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

Tell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • Feeling like you might pass out, even while lying down
  • Gasping, struggling to breathe, or shallow breathing
  • Confusion
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Dizziness with nausea and vomiting
  • Seizure (convulsions)
  • Fast, slow, or uneven heart rate
  • Numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs
  • Chills, sweating, tremors, twitching, overactive reflexes

Less serious side effects may include:

  • Mild skin rash
  • Mild stomach pain or nausea
  • Warmth, redness, or tingly feeling under your skin
  • Darkening or deeper color of veins through your skin
  • Irritation around the IV needle.

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.


What drugs may interact with nitroprusside sodium?

Nitroprusside sodium 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.

Does food or alcohol interact with nitroprusside sodium?

Nitroprusside sodium 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 nitroprusside sodium?

Nitroprusside sodium 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.

Tell your doctor if you have:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Anemia (a lack of red blood cells)
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorder
  • A history of head injury or brain tumor


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

What is the dose of nitroprusside sodium for an adult?

Hypertensive emergency:

Initially, the recommended dose is 0.3 mcg/kg/min IBW administered by continuous IV infusion.

Maintenance dose: the dose may be titrated upward to a maximum of 10 mcg/kg/min IBW.

Congestive heart failure:

Initially, the recommended dose is 10 to 15 mcg/min administered by continuous IV infusion.

Maintenance dose: the dose may be titrated to 10 to 200 mcg/min.

Maximum dose: the recommended dose is 280 mcg/min (4 mcg/kg/min).

What is the dose of nitroprusside sodium 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 nitroprusside sodium available?

Nitroprusside sodium is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Injection 25mg/2ml, Single-dose vials (2ml)

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 nitroprusside sodium, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

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

Review Date: January 24, 2017 | Last Modified: February 6, 2017

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