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Sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate

Generic name: sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate (SOO dee um NYE trite and SOO de um THYE oh SUL fate)
Brand name: Nithiodote
Dosage forms: intravenous solution (30 mg-250 mg/mL)
Drug class: Antidotes

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Mar 31, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate?

Sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate is a combination medicine that is used in an emergency to treat cyanide poisoning. This type of poisoning can occur if you are exposed to smoke from a house or industrial fire, if you swallow or breathe in cyanide, or if you get cyanide on your skin.

Sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate helps cells in the body convert cyanide to a form that can be removed through urination.

Sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Warnings

In an emergency, you may not be able to tell caregivers about your health conditions. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows you received sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate.

Before taking this medicine

If possible before you receive this medicine, tell your caregivers if you have ever had:

  • kidney disease;

  • anemia (low red blood cells);

  • a genetic enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency;

  • low blood pressure; or

  • heart disease.

In an emergency, you may not be able to tell caregivers if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you received this medicine.

You should not breastfeed while using sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate.

How is sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate given?

Sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate is usually given as two separate injections.

Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, kidney function, and other vital signs will be watched closely.

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What happens if I miss a dose?

Because you will receive sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate in an emergency setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate is given in a medical setting, you will be watched closely to make sure you do not receive too much of sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate. Your caregivers will quickly treat you if you have overdose symptoms.

What should I avoid after receiving sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; chest tightness, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers right away if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • a seizure;

  • shortness of breath, tiredness;

  • fast or irregular heart rate, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest; or

  • signs of a blood cell disorder--nausea, vomiting, dizziness, muscle weakness, loss of coordination, blue-colored skin, feeling tired or short of breath.

Common side effects may include:

  • feeling light-headed, loss of consciousness;

  • headache, dizziness, confusion;

  • blurred vision; or

  • fast or pounding heartbeats.

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.

What other drugs will affect sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate?

If possible before you receive sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate, tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

More about sodium nitrite / sodium thiosulfate

Consumer resources

Other brands
Nithiodote

Related treatment guides

Further information

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.