Generic name: Nitroglycerin Ointment [ nye-troe-GLI-ser-in ]
Brand name: Nitro-Bid
Drug classes: Antianginal agents, Vasodilators
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 9, 2023.
Uses of Nitroglycerin Ointment:
- It is used to prevent chest pain or pressure.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Nitroglycerin Ointment?
- If you are allergic to nitroglycerin ointment; any part of nitroglycerin ointment; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have any of these health problems: Anemia, raised pressure in the head (like with bleeding in the brain or head injury), or recent heart attack.
- If you have heart problems.
- If you have low blood volume.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Avanafil, riociguat, sildenafil, tadalafil, or vardenafil.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, or methylergonovine.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with nitroglycerin ointment.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take nitroglycerin ointment with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Nitroglycerin Ointment?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take nitroglycerin ointment. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how nitroglycerin ointment affects you.
- To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly if you have been sitting or lying down. Be careful going up and down stairs.
- Check your blood pressure as you have been told.
- This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take nitroglycerin ointment.
- Avoid drinking alcohol while taking nitroglycerin ointment.
- If you are 65 or older, use nitroglycerin ointment with care. You could have more side effects.
- Do not use nitroglycerin ointment to treat sudden chest pain. It will not help. Talk with your doctor.
- If you have been taking nitroglycerin ointment for a long time without a break, it may not work as well. This is known as tolerance. Be sure to have a "nitrate-free" period of time each day. Talk with your doctor if nitroglycerin ointment stops working well. Do not take more than ordered.
- Do not stop taking nitroglycerin ointment all of a sudden without calling your doctor. You may have a greater risk of side effects. If you need to stop nitroglycerin ointment, you will want to slowly stop it as ordered by your doctor.
- This medicine may stain clothing or fabric.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
How is this medicine (Nitroglycerin Ointment) best taken?
Use nitroglycerin ointment as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Do not take nitroglycerin ointment by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- Use the applicator or dose-measuring paper to spread in a thin layer. Put on your chest or other area.
- Keep using nitroglycerin ointment as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Put on a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not put on 2 doses or extra doses.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Fast, slow, or abnormal heartbeat.
- Blurred eyesight.
- Dry mouth.
- Sweating a lot.
- Pale skin.
- Very upset stomach or throwing up.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Chest pain that is new or worse.
What are some other side effects of Nitroglycerin Ointment?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Dizziness or headache.
- You may have headaches when you start taking nitroglycerin ointment. Most of the time it gets better with time. Do not change how you use nitroglycerin ointment to avoid these headaches. Talk with your doctor for ways to lessen this side effect.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Nitroglycerin Ointment?
- Store at room temperature in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about nitroglycerin ointment, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Frequently asked questions
- What is the shelf life of nitroglycerin tablets?
- How do you take GoNitro to treat an angina attack (chest pain)?
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