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Nitroglycerin Ointment (Absorbed through the skin)

Nitroglycerin (nye-troe-GLIS-er-in)

Published: September 1, 2014.

Prevents angina (chest pain). This medicine is a nitrate.

Brand Name(s)

Nitro-Bid

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to nitroglycerin or similar medicines (such as Isordil®, Sorbitrate®, or Monoket®). You should not use this medicine if you are also using Viagra®.

How to Use This Medicine

Ointment

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to apply, where to apply it, and how often. Do not use more medicine or apply it more often than your doctor tells you to. Most people use this medicine for only part of the day or as needed.
  • This medicine is for use on the skin only. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, or mouth. Do not use on skin areas that have cuts or scrapes. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
  • Apply the medicine using the applicator papers provided. Place one sheet of paper on a flat surface with the printed side down. Squeeze the correct amount of ointment out of the tube and onto the paper. With the ointment side facing your skin, place the paper on your skin and tape it in place.
  • Put the cap back on the ointment tube as soon as you are finished.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, apply it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to apply the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine at room temperature, away from heat and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have low blood pressure, congestive heart failure (CHF), enlarged heart, or kidney disease.
  • Medicines that treat chest pain sometimes cause headaches. These headaches are a sign that the medicine is working. Do not stop using the medicine or change the time you take it in order to avoid the headaches. If the pain is severe, talk with your doctor.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • During the time you are not using the ointment, you may have chest pain, especially if you exercise. Discuss this with your doctor.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert. You may feel lightheaded when standing, so stand up slowly.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
  • Blue lips or fingernails, slow heartbeat, increased chest pain
  • Blurred vision, dry mouth
  • Severe or ongoing dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
  • Throbbing, severe, or ongoing headache, confusion, low fever, or trouble seeing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Facial flushing, nausea, vomiting, weakness
  • Skin irritation, redness, or rash where you applied the medicine

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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