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All about: Nitrostat

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Generic Name: Nitroglycerin Sublingual Tablets (nye-troe-GLIH-suh-rin)
Brand Name: Examples include Nitrostat and NitroQuick

Nitrostat is used for:

Preventing or relieving a sudden attack of chest pain caused by heart disease. It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Nitrostat is a nitrate. It works by relaxing blood vessels in the body, allowing them to widen (dilate). Chest pain occurs when the heart needs more oxygen than it can get. The relaxation caused by the nitrate allows more blood to flow easier through the blood vessels, which reduces the work the heart has to do to pump blood. This reduces the oxygen need of the heart, which makes the chest pain go away.

Do NOT use Nitrostat if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Nitrostat
  • you suspect your are having a heart attack
  • you have increased pressure inside the head
  • you have severe anemia
  • you are currently taking a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (eg, sildenafil), a medicine used frequently for sexual dysfunction

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Nitrostat :

Some medical conditions may interact with Nitrostat . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you drink alcoholic beverages
  • if you have had heart failure, overactive thyroid, recent head trauma, recent heart attack, recent stroke, or low blood pressure

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Nitrostat . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Alcohol because side effects, such as low blood pressure and serious heart problems, may occur
  • Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), calcium channel blockers (eg, diltiazem), phenothiazines (eg, thioridazine), or phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (eg, sildenafil) because side effects such as severely low blood pressure may occur
  • Alteplase or heparin because the effectiveness of these medicines may be decreased
  • Salicylates (eg, aspirin) because the effectiveness of nitroglycerin may be altered. Control of blood pressure may be impaired and your doctor may need to adjust your dose.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Nitrostat may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Nitrostat :

Use Nitrostat as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Do not swallow the tablet.
  • Dissolve 1 tablet under the tongue or between the cheek and tongue at the first sign of chest pain. The dose may be repeated approximately every 5 minutes until pain is relieved or as directed by your health care provider. Sit quietly while the tablet is dissolving. If chest pain continues after a total of 3 tablets in 15 minutes, seek medical attention at once. Do not use more than 3 tablets in 15 minutes.
  • If a dose is missed, take it as soon as possible. If several hours have passed or if it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose to catch up, unless advised by your doctor. If more than one dose is missed, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Nitrostat .

Important safety information:

  • Nitrostat may cause dizziness or blurred vision. Use caution while driving or performing other tasks requiring alertness, coordination, or physical dexterity.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Nitrostat .
  • Use Nitrostat 5 to 10 minutes before engaging in physical activity to prevent chest pain.
  • Keep medicine tightly closed in original glass bottle. Discard cotton once bottle is opened.
  • Sit down while taking the tablets to avoid falling caused by light-headedness or dizziness. Nitrostat may cause tingling or burning when you put it under your tongue. However, lack of tingling or burning does not mean that the medicine is not working.
  • LAB TESTS, including blood electrolytes and blood pressure, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Nitrostat is not recommended for use in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Nitrostat during pregnancy. It is unknown if Nitrostat is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Nitrostat , check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Nitrostat :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dizziness; feeling of whirling motion; headache; heavy sweating; light-headedness; nausea; pale skin; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision; dry mouth; fainting; increased chest pain; pounding in the chest; slow heartbeat.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include: changes in vision; confusion and difficulty breathing; excessive sweating; fast heartbeat; flushing; low blood pressure; pounding in the chest.

Proper storage of Nitrostat :

Store between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Protect from moisture. Keep tightly closed in the original glass container. Do not store in bathroom. Keep Nitrostat out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Nitrostat , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Nitrostat is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Nitrostat . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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