What is this medication?
NITROGLYCERIN (nye troe GLI ser in) prevents chest pain (angina). It works by relaxing blood vessels, which decreases the amount of work the heart has to do. It belongs to a group of medications called nitrates. Do not use it to treat sudden chest pain.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Nitro Bid, Nitrol
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Head injury, recent stroke, or bleeding in the brain
- Liver disease
- Previous heart attack
- An unusual or allergic reaction to nitroglycerin, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medication is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use exactly as directed. Use one of the ruled papers that come with the ointment to accurately measure the dose. Using the paper, spread a thin layer of ointment about the size of the paper over a clean, dry area of skin on the upper body where there is little or no hair. Avoid injured, irritated, calloused, or scarred areas. Do not rub the ointment into the skin. Tape the paper in place over the ointment to protect your clothing. You can cover the paper with plastic wrap or a plastic bandage. Try not to get the ointment on your fingers. Wash your hands well after use. Remove the paper and clean the area before applying the next dose. Use a different site each day to prevent skin irritation. Do not use your medication more often than directed. Do not stop using except on the advice of your care team.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
- Certain migraine medications like ergotamine and dihydroergotamine (DHE)
- Medications used to treat erectile dysfunction like sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil
This medication may also interact with the following:
- Medications for high blood pressure
- Medications for mental depression
- Other medications used to treat angina
- Phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Tell your care team if you feel your medication is no longer working.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or pain while you are taking this medication without asking your care team for advice. Some ingredients may increase your blood pressure.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Headache, unusual weakness or fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, blue skin or lips, which may be signs of methemoglobinemia
- Increased pressure around the brain—severe headache, blurry vision, change in vision, nausea, vomiting
- Low blood pressure—dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, blurry vision
- Slow heartbeat—dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, confusion, trouble breathing, unusual weakness or fatigue
- Worsening chest pain (angina)—pain, pressure, or tightness in the chest, neck, back, or arms
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Close tightly after each use. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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