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Precautions and Warnings with the Nitroglycerin Patch

People who have problems with dehydration or low blood pressure may not be able to safely use the nitroglycerin patch. Other precautions include warnings of potential complications this drug may cause, such as dangerously low blood pressure, headaches, and allergic reactions. Also, you may not be able to use this patch if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using the nitroglycerin patch (Minitran™, Nitro-Dur®) if you have:
In addition, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Some Nitroglycerin Patch Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this angina medication include the following:
  • Nitroglycerin patches can sometimes cause dangerously low blood pressure (hypotension). Alcohol or certain other medications can make this worse (see Drug Interactions With the Nitroglycerin Patch for more information). People who already have low blood pressure or who are dehydrated are at risk for dangerously low blood pressure.
  • The use of nitroglycerin skin products, including the nitroglycerin patch, has not been studied in people having a heart attack or a sudden worsening of heart failure.
  • In the event that defibrillation or cardioversion is necessary, the paddles must not be placed over the nitroglycerin patch, as severe skin burns and damage to the paddles may result. While healthcare providers should already be aware of this problem, this warning is becoming more important as automated external defibrillators (AEDs) become more available in public places. AEDs are designed for use by the general public, not just healthcare providers.
  • Nitroglycerin patches often cause headaches. If this occurs, talk with your healthcare provider. Do not stop using nitroglycerin patches without checking with your healthcare provider first.
  • Nitroglycerin patches do not work for all types of chest pain (angina). If your chest pain gets worse when you use this product, let your healthcare provider know right away.
  • In rare cases, some people may be allergic to nitroglycerin patches. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop any signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling
    • Difficulty breathing.
  • The nitroglycerin patch is a pregnancy Category C medication, which means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown (see Minitran and Pregnancy or Nitro-Dur and Pregnancy for more information).
  • It is unknown if the nitroglycerin patch passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, check with your healthcare provider or your child's healthcare provider before using this product (see Minitran and Breastfeeding or Nitro-Dur and Breastfeeding).
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Nitroglycerin Patch Information

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