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Nitroglycerin Topical ointment

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.

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 side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • blurred vision

  • dry mouth

  • skin irritation from ointment

  • sweating

  • the feeling of extreme pressure in the head

  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • flushing of the face or neck

  • headache

  • irregular heartbeat, palpitations

  • nausea, vomiting

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 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.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Close tightly after each use. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

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

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.