Skip to Content

BiDil (Oral)


Generic Name: isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine (Oral route)

eye-soe-SOR-bide dye-NYE-trate, hye-DRAL-a-zeen hye-droe-KLOR-ide

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • BiDil

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet

Therapeutic Class: Antianginal

Chemical Class: Nitrate

Uses For BiDil

Isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine combination is used to treat heart failure in black patients.

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.

Hydralazine works by relaxing the blood vessels and increasing the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart while reducing its work load.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using BiDil

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 this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine 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.


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


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


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 this medicine, 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 this medicine 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. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Enteral Nutrition
  • food

Other Medical Problems

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

  • Allergic reaction to nitrates, history of—Should not be used in patients with these condition.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a heart disease) or
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.

Proper Use of BiDil

Take this medicine 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.


The dose of this medicine 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 this medicine. 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 treatment of heart failure:
    • For oral dosage form (tablets):
      • Adults—At first, one tablet three times a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. Each tablet contains 20 milligrams (mg) of isosorbide dinitrate and 37.5 mg of hydralazine.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, 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.


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 BiDil

It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

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

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 this medicine, 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.

Call your doctor right away if you have chest pain, fever, joint pain, or unusual tiredness or weakness. These may be symptoms of an autoimmune disease called systemic lupus erythematosus.

This medicine may cause nerve problems. Call your doctor right away if you have burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings.

BiDil 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:

More common
  • Blurred vision
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • sweating
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common
  • Fainting
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain
  • black, tarry stools
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • dark urine
  • diarrhea
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • fever or chills
  • headache, severe and throbbing
  • joint pain
  • light-colored stools
  • lower back or side pain
  • mood or mental changes
  • muscle aches, cramps, or stiffness
  • pain in the arms or legs
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • shortness of breath
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or inside the mouth
  • unusual behavior, such as disorientation to time or place, failure to recognize people, hyperactivity, or restlessness
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • yellow eyes and skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Constipation
  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
Less common
  • Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • cough
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • stuffy or runny nose
Incidence not known
  • Change in urine color
  • continuing ringing, buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • feeling of warmth
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • pinpoint red or purple spots on the skin
  • redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest
  • sensation of spinning
  • stomach soreness or discomfort

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 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.

The use of the Truven Health products is at your sole risk. These products are provided "AS IS" and "as available" for use, without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. Truven Health and make no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, timeliness, usefulness or completeness of any of the information contained in the products. Additionally, TRUVEN HEALTH MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTIES AS TO THE OPINIONS OR OTHER SERVICE OR DATA YOU MAY ACCESS, DOWNLOAD OR USE AS A RESULT OF USE OF THE THOMSON REUTERS HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS. ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE ARE HEREBY EXCLUDED. Truven Health does not assume any responsibility or risk for your use of the Truven Health products.

Copyright 2016 Truven Health Analytics, Inc. All Rights Reserved.