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isosorbide dinitrate (Oral route, Sublingual route)

Pronunciation

eye-soe-SOR-bide dye-NYE-trate

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Dilatrate-SR
  • Isochron
  • IsoDitrate
  • Isordil Titradose

In Canada

  • Apo-Isdn
  • Isordil

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet, Chewable
  • Tablet
  • Capsule, Extended Release
  • Tablet, Extended Release

Therapeutic Class: Antianginal

Chemical Class: Nitrate

Uses For isosorbide dinitrate

Isosorbide dinitrate is used to prevent angina (chest pain) caused by coronary artery disease. It does not work fast enough to relieve the pain of an angina attack that has already started.

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Isosorbide dinitrate belongs to the group of medicines called nitrates. It works by relaxing the blood vessels and increasing the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart while reducing its work load. When used regularly on a long-term basis, this helps prevent angina attacks from occurring.

isosorbide dinitrate is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using isosorbide dinitrate

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For isosorbide dinitrate, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to isosorbide dinitrate or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of isosorbide dinitrate in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of isosorbide dinitrate in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving isosorbide dinitrate.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking isosorbide dinitrate, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using isosorbide dinitrate with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Avanafil
  • Riociguat
  • Sildenafil
  • Tadalafil
  • Vardenafil

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of isosorbide dinitrate. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Congestive heart failure or
  • Heart attack, recent or
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a heart disease) or
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
  • Hypovolemia (low amount of blood)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.

Proper Use of isosorbide dinitrate

Take isosorbide dinitrate exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

This form of nitrate is used to reduce the number of angina attacks over a long time. It will not relieve an attack that has already started because it works too slowly. The extended-release form releases medicine gradually to provide its effect for 8 to 10 hours. Check with your doctor if you also need a fast-acting medicine to relieve the pain of an angina attack.

You should take isosorbide dinitrate first thing in the morning and follow the same schedule each day. isosorbide dinitrate works best if you have a "drug-free" period of time every day when you do not take it. Your doctor will schedule your doses during the day to allow for a drug-free time. Follow the schedule of dosing carefully so the medicine will work properly.

Sublingual tablets should not be chewed, crushed, or swallowed. They work much faster when absorbed through the lining of the mouth. Place the tablet under the tongue and let it dissolve there. Do not eat, drink, smoke, or use chewing tobacco while a tablet is dissolving.

Swallow the extended-release tablet or capsule whole. Do not split, crush, or chew it.

Dosing

The dose of isosorbide dinitrate will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of isosorbide dinitrate. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For angina prevention:
    • For oral dosage form (extended-release tablets, sustained-release capsules):
      • Adults—At first, 40 milligrams (mg) two times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 160 mg per day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For oral dosage form (tablets):
      • Adults—At first, 5 to 20 milligrams (mg) two or three times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For sublingual dosage form (tablets):
      • Adults—2.5 to 5 milligrams (mg) about 15 minutes before expected physical or emotional stress.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of isosorbide dinitrate, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using isosorbide dinitrate

If you will be taking isosorbide dinitrate for a long time, it is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that isosorbide dinitrate is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Do not take sildenafil (Viagra®), tadalafil (Cialis®), or vardenafil (Levitra®) while you are using isosorbide dinitrate. Using these medicines together may cause blurred vision, dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. If you are taking these medicines and you experience an angina attack, you must go to the hospital right away.

isosorbide dinitrate may cause headaches. These headaches are a sign that the medicine is working. Do not stop using the medicine or change the time you use it in order to avoid the headaches. If you have severe pain, talk with your doctor.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or faintness may occur, especially when you get up quickly from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting is also more likely to occur if you drink alcohol, stand for long periods of time, exercise, or if the weather is hot. While you are taking isosorbide dinitrate, be careful to limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Also, use extra care during exercise or hot weather or if you must stand for long periods of time.

Do not stop using isosorbide dinitrate without checking first with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping it completely.

isosorbide dinitrate Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare
  • Bluish-colored lips, fingernails, or palms
  • dark urine
  • difficulty with breathing
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • fever
  • headache
  • pale skin
  • rapid heart rate
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
  • Arm, back, or jaw pain
  • blurred vision
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • chest tightness or heaviness
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • fainting
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • sweating

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Blurred or loss of vision
  • bulging soft spot on the head of an infant
  • change in consciousness
  • change in the ability to see colors, especially blue or yellow
  • cold, clammy skin
  • convulsions
  • disturbed color perception
  • double vision
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • halos around lights
  • headache, severe and throbbing
  • increased sweating
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of consciousness
  • nausea
  • night blindness
  • overbright appearance of lights
  • paralysis
  • sensation of spinning
  • slow heartbeat
  • tunnel vision
  • vomiting
  • wheezing

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

The information contained in the Truven Health Micromedex products as delivered by Drugs.com is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.

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