Nitroglycerin ointment is a medication prescribed to help prevent angina (chest pain). This medicine is typically applied once in the morning and again six hours later. It works to improve blood flow to the heart by relaxing the arteries and blood vessels in the body. Although most people tolerate this medication well, side effects may still occur and can include headaches and low blood pressure.
What Is Nitroglycerin Ointment?
Nitroglycerin ointment (Nitro-Bid®) is a prescription skin ointment approved to help prevent attacks of angina (chest pain due to inadequate blood supply to the heart).
This article refers to the nitroglycerin skin ointment that is used to treat chest pain, not the nitroglycerin ointment that is used to treat anal fissures (see Nitroglycerin Anal Ointment for more information about this medication).
Are There Side Effects?
Just like any medicine, nitroglycerin ointment may cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well.
If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of nitroglycerin ointment include but are not limited to:
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Nitro-Bid [package insert]. Melville, NY: Savage Laboratories;2008 August.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed May 3, 2011.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed May 3, 2011.
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