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Isosorbide dinitrate Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 11, 2021.

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of isosorbide dinitrate include: headache. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to isosorbide dinitrate: capsule extended release, tablet, tablet extended release

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, isosorbide dinitrate 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 while taking isosorbide dinitrate:


  • Bluish-colored lips, fingernails, or palms
  • dark urine
  • difficulty with breathing
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • fever
  • headache
  • pale skin
  • rapid heart rate
  • sore throat
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Incidence not known

  • Arm, back, or jaw pain
  • blurred vision
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • chest tightness or heaviness
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fainting
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • sweating

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking isosorbide dinitrate:

Symptoms of overdose

  • Blurred or loss of vision
  • bulging soft spot on the head of an infant
  • change in consciousness
  • change in the ability to see colors, especially blue or yellow
  • cold, clammy skin
  • convulsions
  • disturbed color perception
  • double vision
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • halos around lights
  • headache, severe and throbbing
  • increased sweating
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of consciousness
  • nausea
  • night blindness
  • overbright appearance of lights
  • paralysis
  • sensation of spinning
  • slow heartbeat
  • tunnel vision
  • vomiting

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to isosorbide dinitrate: oral capsule extended release, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable, oral tablet extended release, sublingual tablet


The most common side effect was headache.[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Headache, dizziness, syncope, lightheadedness[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Decrease in blood pressure and/or orthostatic hypotension with reflex tachycardia and symptoms/signs of cerebral ischemia (including drowsiness and dizziness and weakness) with first time use and when the dose is increased

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Marked decreases in blood pressure with an aggravation of symptomatic angina pectoris, collapse associated with bradycardia and cardiac rhythm disturbances

Frequency not reported: Pallor, crescendo angina, rebound hypertension, hypotension[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Peripheral edema in patients treated for left ventricular failure[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Allergic skin reactions

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Exfoliative dermatitis/Stevens-Johnson Syndrome or angioedema

Frequency not reported: Cutaneous vasodilation with flushing, excessive perspiration, rash[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Nausea and vomiting

Frequency not reported: Heartburn[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Pituitary apoplexy in patients with undiagnosed pituitary tumors[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Angle closure glaucoma[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Alveolar hypoventilation with consequent hypoxemia and the risk of developing a myocardial infarction in patients with coronary heart disease[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Methemoglobinemia, hemolytic anemia in patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase-deficient syndrome[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Restlessness[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. "Product Information. Isordil (isosorbide dinitrate)." Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.