Nitroglycerin (Injection)


Nitroglycerin (nye-troe-GLIS-er-in)

Treats high blood pressure, and certain heart problems such as angina (chest pain) or a heart attack.

Brand Name(s)


When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine


  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine. This medicine is given as a constant infusion ("drip") through a needle placed in one of your veins. Your dose of nitroglycerin may need to be changed more than once, depending on your blood pressure, any chest discomfort, and other symptoms.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using heparin or blood pressure medicine such as diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil, Cartia®, Lotrel®, Norvasc®, Plendil®, or Tiazac®. Make sure your doctor knows if you are using sildenafil (Viagra®) or other medicines that dilate your blood vessels.
  • There may be other medicines that can interact with nitroglycerin. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using, or have used recently.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you are allergic to corn or corn products. Tell your doctor if you have diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, or kidney disease.
  • This medicine may cause lightheadedness or fainting, especially after getting up from a sitting or lying position. Change positions slowly. Do not get out of bed unless a caregiver says it is OK.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain, chest tightness, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Dizziness, cold sweats, or confusion.
  • Lightheadedness or fainting.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Severe headache.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Mild headache.
  • Mild skin rash or itching.
  • Redness, pain, or swelling at the site where then needle is placed.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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