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All about: Nitrek patches and ointment

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Generic Name: nitroglycerin topical (patches and ointment) (nye troe GLIH ser in)
Brand Names: Deponit, Minitran, Nitrek, Nitro-Bid, Nitro-Dur, Nitrodisc, Nitrol, Nitrol Appli-Kit, Transderm-Nitro

What is nitroglycerin topical?

Nitroglycerin topical is in a class of drugs called nitrates. Nitroglycerin topical dilates (widens) blood vessels (arteries and veins). When blood vessels are dilated, it is easier for the heart to pump. Also, more blood, which is rich in oxygen, can flow to the heart.

Nitroglycerin topical is used to prevent angina attacks.

Nitroglycerin topical may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about nitroglycerin topical?

Use nitroglycerin topical exactly as directed. The timing of doses is very important for the effectiveness of this medication. Follow your doctor's instructions.

If you experience chest pain that worsens or lasts more than 5 minutes, especially if you feel short of breath, weak, nauseated, or lightheaded, call 911 or your local emergency services number.

You will probably develop a headache because of this medicine, but do not stop taking it. Take aspirin or acetaminophen to treat the headache. Ask your doctor which is best for you. This side effect usually goes away with continued nitroglycerin treatment.

Do not stop using nitroglycerin topical suddenly. Stopping suddenly could cause a severe attack of angina (chest pain). Avoid alcohol. Like nitroglycerin, alcohol widens your blood vessels, and it can cause very low blood pressure, dizziness, and drowsiness. You could endanger yourself or others.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using nitroglycerin topical?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you

  • are anemic (the level of your red blood cells is low);

  • have had a stroke, a transient ischemic attack (TIA, or mini-stroke), or a serious head injury;

  • have high or low blood pressure;

  • have heart failure; or

  • suffer from migraines.

You may not be able to use nitroglycerin topical, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Nitroglycerin topical is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether nitroglycerin topical will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. It is also not known whether nitroglycerin topical passes into breast milk. Do not use nitroglycerin topical without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use nitroglycerin topical?

Use nitroglycerin topical exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Wash your hands before and after applying the ointment or a patch.

To apply the ointment:

  • The ointment should be applied as directed with an applicator, not with your finger. Do not rub the ointment into your skin.

  • For the Nitro-Bid ointment, place one applicator paper printed side down on a flat surface. Squeeze the prescribed amount of ointment onto the applicator paper. Place the applicator paper (ointment side down) onto the desired area of skin, and tape the applicator into place.

To apply the patches:

  • Apply each patch to a clean, dry, relatively hair-free area on your chest or upper arms, as directed. Avoid areas that are irritated or scarred. Do not apply the patch below your knees or elbows. Follow the specific application directions included with your patch.
  • Apply the patches as directed every day. They are usually applied in the morning and taken off in the evening. Apply each new patch to a different place than the patch you used the day before.

  • Bathing, showering, or swimming should not affect the patch. If a patch falls off for any reason, reapply it to the same site. If it will not stick, apply a new patch to a new site. Continue changing the patch on your regular schedule.

  • Do not cut the patches.
Do not stop using nitroglycerin topical suddenly. Stopping suddenly could cause a severe attack of angina (chest pain).

If you experience chest pain that worsens or lasts more than 5 minutes, especially if you feel short of breath, weak, nauseated, or lightheaded, call 911 or your local emergency services number.

Store the patches and ointment at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Throw the used patches and applicator papers away where children and pets cannot reach them.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and apply only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not apply a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a nitroglycerin overdose include a severe throbbing headache, difficult or slow breathing, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, dizziness, fainting, an irregular heartbeat, changes in vision, flushing, and seizures.

What should I avoid while using nitroglycerin topical?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Nitroglycerin topical may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid hazardous activities. Also, stand up slowly from a sitting or lying position. Avoid alcohol. It also widens your blood vessels, and it can cause very low blood pressure, dizziness, and drowsiness. You could endanger yourself or others. Do not stop using nitroglycerin topical suddenly. Stopping suddenly could cause a severe attack of angina (chest pain).

Nitroglycerin topical side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop using nitroglycerin topical and seek emergency medical attention:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • blurred vision or dry mouth;

  • irregular heartbeat; or

  • fainting.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to use nitroglycerin topical and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • headache or dizziness,

  • flushing (redness of the face, neck, and chest),

  • nausea or vomiting,

  • a fast heartbeat,

  • swollen ankles, or

  • weakness.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect nitroglycerin topical?

Do not take sildenafil (Viagra), a drug for impotence, if you are using nitroglycerin topical. This drug combination could cause severe or life-threatening low blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about other treatment options.

Alcohol greatly increases the effects of nitroglycerin topical and may lead to low blood pressure, dizziness, and drowsiness.

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other heart medicines. Nitroglycerin topical may compound the effects of other heart medicines. You may need a dosage adjustment.

Dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45) may increase or decrease the effects of nitroglycerin. If you take this medication, make sure that your doctor knows.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with nitroglycerin topical or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about nitroglycerin topical written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Nitroglycerin topical is available with a prescription generically and under several brand names. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Minitran 0.1 mg per hour

  • Minitran 0.2 mg per hour

  • Minitran 0.4 mg per hour

  • Minitran 0.6 mg per hour

  • Nitro-Dur 0.1 mg per hour

  • Nitro-Dur 0.2 mg per hour

  • Nitro-Dur 0.3 mg per hour

  • Nitro-Dur 0.4 mg per hour

  • Nitro-Dur 0.6 mg per hour

  • Nitro-Dur 0.8 mg per hour

  • Transderm Nitro 0.1 mg per hour

  • Transderm Nitro 0.2 mg per hour

  • Transderm Nitro 0.4 mg per hour

  • Transderm Nitro 0.6 mg per hour

  • Transderm Nitro 0.8 mg per hour

  • Deponit 0.2 mg per hour

  • Deponit 0.4 mg per hour

  • 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.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.01. Revision Date: 8/5/04 10:32:30 AM.

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