Generic Name: nitroglycerin (transdermal) (NYE troe GLIS er in)
Brand Names: Minitran, Nitrek, Nitro TD Patch-A, Nitro-Dur
What is nitroglycerin topical?
Nitroglycerin is in a group of drugs called nitrates. Nitroglycerin dilates (widens) blood vessels, making it easier for blood to flow through them and easier for the heart to pump.
Nitroglycerin topical (for the skin) is used to prevent attacks of chest pain (angina).
Nitroglycerin topical may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about nitroglycerin topical?You should not use this medication if you are allergic to nitroglycerin, isosorbide mononitrate (Imdur), or isosorbide dinitrate (BiDil, Isordil).
Before using nitroglycerin topical, tell your doctor if you have congestive heart failure, low blood pressure, glaucoma, anemia, or a history of heart attack, stroke, or head injury.Do not use this medication to treat an angina attack that has already begun. It will not work fast enough.
Nitroglycerin topical can cause severe headaches, especially when you first start using it. Do not stop using nitroglycerin, and ask your doctor before using any headache pain medication.Nitroglycerin topical can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of nitroglycerin topical. Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as worsening chest pain, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, vomiting, sweating, blurred vision and dry mouth, or fainting.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using nitroglycerin topical?You should not use this medication if you are allergic to nitroglycerin, isosorbide mononitrate (Imdur), or isosorbide dinitrate (BiDil, Isordil). Do not use nitroglycerin topical if you are allergic to any type of adhesive on a bandage or other transdermal skin patch.
Before using nitroglycerin topical, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
congestive heart failure;
a history of heart attack, stroke, or head injury;
low blood pressure;
anemia (lack of red blood cells).
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use nitroglycerin topical.FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether nitroglycerin topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. If you need to have any type of surgery or dental work, tell the surgeon or dentist ahead of time that you are using nitroglycerin topical. The nitroglycerin transdermal patch may burn your skin if you wear the patch during an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Remove the patch before undergoing such a test.
Tell any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you that you are using nitroglycerin skin patches. If you need emergency heart resuscitation, your family or caregivers should tell emergency medical personnel if you are wearing a nitroglycerin skin patch. The patch should be removed before any electrical equipment (such as a defribrillator) is used on you.
How should I use nitroglycerin topical?
Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.Do not use nitroglycerin topical to treat an angina attack that has already begun. It will not work fast enough. Your doctor may prescribe an oral form of nitroglycerin (tablet, capsule, spray) to treat an angina attack. Talk with your doctor if any of your medications do not seem to work as well in treating or preventing angina attacks.
The nitroglycerin transdermal skin patch is usually worn for 12 to 14 hours and then removed. A new patch is put on after a "patch-free" period of 10 to 12 hours. Your doctor may want you to wear the patch for longer or shorter periods of time. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Apply the skin patch to a clean, dry, hairless area of the body, below your neck and above your knees or elbows. To remove any hair from these skin areas, clip the hair short but do not shave it.
Press the patch onto the skin and press it down firmly with your fingers. Make sure it is well sealed around the edges.Wash your hands after applying nitroglycerin topical.
If the patch falls off, try sticking it back on. If you replace the patch with a new one, leave it on only for the rest of your wearing time. Do not change your patch removal schedule.After removing a skin patch fold it in half, sticky side in, and throw it away in a place where children or pets cannot get to it. Keep both used and unused nitroglycerin topical patches out of the reach of children or pets. Do not stop using this medication without your doctor's advice, even if you feel better. You may have increased angina attacks if you stop using the medication suddenly. Store this medication at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep each skin patch in its sealed pouch until you are ready to use it.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Apply a patch as soon as you remember, and keep it on for the rest of your wearing time without changing your patch removal schedule. If you miss a dose and it is almost time to apply your next patch, wait until then to apply the patch and skip the missed dose.
Do not use extra patches to make up a missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Overdose symptoms may include a severe throbbing headache, confusion, fever, fast or pounding heartbeats, dizziness, vision problems, nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, trouble breathing, cold or clammy skin, feeling light-headed, fainting, seizure (convulsions), or blue-colored skin, lips, or nails.
What should I avoid while using nitroglycerin topical?
Avoid using nitroglycerin topical on irritated or broken skin.Nitroglycerin topical can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of nitroglycerin topical.
Nitroglycerin topical side effects
Nitroglycerin topical can cause severe headaches, especially when you first start using it. These headaches may gradually become less severe as you continue to use nitroglycerin topical. Do not stop using the medication. Ask your doctor before using any headache pain medication.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. Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
worsening chest pain, slow heart rate;
feeling like you might pass out;
chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
fast or pounding heartbeats; or
blurred vision and dry mouth.
Less serious side effects may include:
mild skin rash or itching;
warmth, redness, or tingly feeling under your skin;
nausea, vomiting, upset stomach; or
feeling nervous, weak, or dizzy.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others than may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.
What other drugs will affect nitroglycerin topical?
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:
blood pressure medication or diuretics (water pills);
cold or allergy medicines, diet pills, or over-the-counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve);
an erectile dysfunction medication such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra);
migraine headache medication such as ergotamine (Ergomar, Cafergot), or dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal Nasal Spray);
a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin), carvedilol (Coreg), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal), and others; or
a calcium channel blocker such as amlodipine (Norvasc), diltiazem (Tiazac, Cartia, Cardizem), felodipine (Plendil), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat), nimodipine (Nimotop), nisoldipine (Sular), or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with nitroglycerin topical. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
More about nitroglycerin
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- 23 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: antianginal agents
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about nitroglycerin topical.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.