nitroglycerin topical (generic name)

Nitrol (brand name)

It relaxes blood vessels, increasing the blood and oxygen supply to your heart
(nye troe GLI ser in)
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What is this medicine?

NITROGLYCERIN (nye troe GLI ser in) is a type of vasodilator. It relaxes blood vessels, increasing the blood and oxygen supply to your heart. This medicine is used to prevent chest pain caused by angina. It should not be used for immediate relief during an angina attack.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • anemia
  • head injury, recent stroke, or bleeding in the brain
  • liver disease
  • previous heart attack
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to nitroglycerin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use exactly as directed. Use one of the ruled papers that come with the ointment to accurately measure the dose. Using the paper, spread a thin layer of ointment about the size of the paper over a clean, dry area of skin on the upper body where there is little or no hair. Avoid injured, irritated, calloused, or scarred areas. Do not rub the ointment into the skin. Tape the paper in place over the ointment to protect your clothing. You can cover the paper with plastic wrap or a plastic bandage. Try not to get the ointment on your fingers. Wash your hands well after use. Remove the paper and clean the area before applying the next dose. Use a different site each day to prevent skin irritation. Do not use your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop using except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • certain migraine medicines like ergotamine and dihydroergotamine (DHE)
  • medicines used to treat erectile dysfunction like sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alteplase
  • aspirin
  • heparin
  • medicines for high blood pressure
  • medicines for mental depression
  • other medicines used to treat angina
  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if you feel your medicine is no longer working.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or pain while you are taking this medicine without asking your doctor or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients may increase your blood pressure.

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Last Updated: July 10, 2009
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