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Nitrostat Sublingual Tablets

Generic Name: nitroglycerin sublingual
Brand Names: Nitrostat

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Dec 2, 2019.

What is Nitrostat?

Nitrostat (nitroglycerin) is a nitrate that dilates (widens) blood vessels, making it easier for blood to flow through them and easier for the heart to pump.

Nitrostat is used to treat a type of chest pain called angina.

Angina is a pain or discomfort that keeps coming back when part of your heart does not get enough blood. Angina feels like a pressing or squeezing pain, usually in your chest under the breastbone. Sometimes you can feel it in your shoulders, arms, neck, jaws, or back. Nitrostat can relieve this pain.

Important Information

You should not use Nitrostat if you are also using medicine to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Do not take erectile dysfunction medicine (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and others) while you are taking Nitrostat.

You should not use sublingual Nitrostat if you have severe anemia, increased pressure inside your skull, circulation problems, chest pain that spreads to your jaw or shoulder, or signs of shock (pale skin, suddenly feeling light-headed).

Seek emergency medical attention if you have early symptoms of a heart attack (chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, sweating, general ill feeling).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Nitrostat if you are allergic to nitroglycerin, or if you are using medicine to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), such as riociguat (Adempas), sildenafil (Revatio), or tadalafil (Adcirca).

Do not take erectile dysfunction medicine (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Stendra, Staxyn, sildenafil, avanafil, tadalafil, vardenafil) while you are taking Nitrostat. Using erectile dysfunction medicine with this medicine can cause a sudden and serious decrease in blood pressure.

You should not use Nitrostat sublingual tablets if you have:

  • severe anemia (low red blood cells);

  • increased pressure inside the skull;

  • symptoms of circulation problems or shock (pale skin, cold sweat, fast or irregular heartbeats, sudden weakness or feeling like you might pass out); or

  • heart attack symptoms - chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating.

To make sure Nitrostat is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

It is not known whether Nitrostat will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether nitroglycerin passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

How should I take Nitrostat?

Use Nitrostat exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. If you use too much Nitrostat, it might not work as well in controlling your symptoms.

Nitrostat is usually taken at the first sign of chest pain. Try to rest or stay seated when you take this medicine (may cause dizziness or fainting).

You may use Nitrostat sublingual tablets within 5 to 10 minutes before an activity you think might cause chest pain. Follow your doctor's instructions.

The sublingual tablet should be placed under your tongue and allowed to dissolve slowly. Do not chew or swallow it. Do not use more than 3 tablets in 15 minutes.

Do not rinse or spit any residual Nitrostat powder for 5 minutes after using the medicine.

Seek emergency medical attention if your chest pain gets worse or lasts more than 5 minutes, especially if you have trouble breathing or feel weak, dizzy, or nauseated, or lightheaded.

You may feel a slight burning or stinging in your mouth when you use this medicine. This is not a sign of how well the medicine is working. Do not use more just because you do not feel a burning or stinging.

This medicine can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using nitroglycerin.

Keep this medicine on hand at all times. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the tablets in the original glass container, tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Nitrostat is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are on a schedule, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if your next dose is less than 2 hours away. Do not take 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. An overdose of nitroglycerin can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include a severe throbbing headache, confusion, fever, fast or pounding heartbeats, dizziness, vision problems, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, trouble breathing, cold or clammy skin, fainting, and seizures.

What should I avoid while taking Nitrostat?

Nitrostat 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. Alcohol may increase certain side effects of nitroglycerin (dizziness, drowsiness, feeling light-headed, or fainting).

Nitrostat side effects

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

Seek emergency medical attention if you have symptoms of a heart attack, such as:

  • chest pain or pressure;

  • pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder; or

  • nausea, sweating, general ill feeling.

Nitrostat can cause severe headaches. These headaches may gradually become less severe as you continue to use this medicine. Do not stop taking this medicine. Ask your doctor before using any headache pain medication.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe or throbbing headaches that do not become less severe with continued use of Nitrostat;

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • slow heart rate;

  • blurred vision or dry mouth; or

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

Common Nitrostat side effects may include:

  • mild burning or tingling with the tablet in your mouth;

  • headache;

  • dizziness, spinning sensation;

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);

  • pale skin, increased sweating; or

  • feeling weak or dizzy.

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 Nitrostat?

Many drugs can interact with nitroglycerin. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with this medicine, especially:

This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with Nitrostat. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Nitrostat only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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