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Nitroglycerin Patch

What If I Overdose on This Medicine?

An overdose with the nitroglycerin patch can be dangerous. If you or someone else may have used too much, seek immediate medical attention.
(Click Minitran Overdose or Nitro-Dur Overdose for more information.)

What If I Forget a Dose?

If you forget a dose, apply the missed patch as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and continue with your regular schedule. Do not use more than one patch. Try to maintain the necessary 10 to 12 hours of patch-free time every day.

How Does the Nitroglycerin Patch Work?

Nitroglycerin patches work by relaxing the veins and arteries in the body. With the arteries and veins relaxed, the heart does not need to work so hard and does not require as much oxygen. Because angina is usually caused when there is not enough oxygen to meet the heart's needs, nitroglycerin patches can help prevent angina attacks.
However, because it is a skin patch, this medicine does not start working fast enough to actually treat an angina attack that has already started.

When and How to Apply a Nitroglycerin Patch

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with nitroglycerin patches include the following:
  • This patch is applied once a day and worn for 12 to 14 hours.
  • As with all nitroglycerin products, it is important that your body gets a 10- to 12-hour break from the drug every day. Without this break, your body quickly becomes accustomed to the nitroglycerin and the drug will become completely ineffective within 24 hours.
  • Apply the patch to a clean, dry, hairless area of the body, preferably the chest. Do not apply it to the arms below the elbows or the legs below the knees. If a hairless area is not available, the hair can be clipped short but not shaved.
  • Choose an area that is free of irritations or cuts. It is best not to apply the patch right after bathing or showering, as the skin may not be completely dry.
  • Don't forget to remove the nitroglycerin patch at the specified time, or the medication will quickly stop working for you.
  • You can swim, shower, or bathe while wearing the patch. In the unlikely event that the patch comes off, simply replace it with a new one, treating the patch as if it were the old one and removing it at your regular time.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be used as prescribed.
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Nitroglycerin Patch Information

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