Generic Name: nitroglycerin (rectal) (NYE troe GLIS er in)
Brand Name: Rectiv
Medically reviewed on November 17, 2017
What is nitroglycerin rectal?
Nitroglycerin is a nitrate that dilates (widens) blood vessels.
Nitroglycerin rectal is used to treat moderate to severe pain caused by chronic anal fissures (tears in the skin lining your rectum).
Nitroglycerin rectal may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use nitroglycerin rectal if you have: severe anemia (a lack of red blood cells), or a brain injury, hemorrhage, or tumor.
Do not take erectile dysfunction medicine (Viagra, Cialis, and others) while you are using nitroglycerin rectal, or you could have a sudden and serious decrease in blood pressure.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to:
other forms of nitroglycerin (pill, spray, or skin ointment, or skin patch).
Do not take erectile dysfunction medicine (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Stendra, Staxyn, sildenafil, avanafil, tadalafil, vardenafil) while you are using nitroglycerin rectal. Using erectile dysfunction medicine with nitroglycerin can cause a sudden and serious decrease in blood pressure.
You also should not use nitroglycerin rectal if you have:
severe anemia (a lack of red blood cells); or
a brain injury, hemorrhage, or tumor.
Do not use nitroglycerin rectal if you have early signs of a heart attack (chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling). Seek emergency medical attention if you have symptoms of a heart attack.
To make sure nitroglycerin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
congestive heart failure;
a history of heart attack, stroke, or circulation problems;
migraine headaches; or
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether nitroglycerin rectal will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.
It is not known whether nitroglycerin rectal passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Nitroglycerin rectal is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I use nitroglycerin rectal?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Nitroglycerin rectal can cause severe headaches. Ask your doctor before using any headache pain medication.
It may take up to 3 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse while using nitroglycerin rectal. Do not use this medicine for longer than 3 weeks unless your doctor tells you to.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the tube tightly closed when not in use. Throw away any nitroglycerin rectal ointment you have not used within 8 weeks after you first opened the tube.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using nitroglycerin rectal?
This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be 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, such as dizziness, drowsiness, feeling light-headed, or fainting.
Nitroglycerin rectal side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out.
Common side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect nitroglycerin rectal?
Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with nitroglycerin rectal, especially:
blood pressure medication;
nitroglycerin used in a pill form or spray under the tongue, or as a skin patch or skin ointment.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with nitroglycerin rectal, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01.
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- Drug class: antianginal agents