isosorbide mononitrate, Imdur, Ismo, Monoket

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

What is isosorbide mononitrate, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Isosorbide mononitrate is in the class of drugs called nitrates that are used for treating and preventing angina. Other nitrates include nitroglycerin (Nitrostat, NitroQuick, Nitrolingual, Nitro-Dur and others) and isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil Titradose, Dilatrate-SR, Isochron). Nitrates are vasodilators (dilators of blood vessels). Blood returning from the body in the veins must be pumped by the heart through the lungs and into the body's arteries against the high pressure in the arteries. In order to accomplish this work, the heart's muscle must produce and use energy ("fuel") which requires oxygen brought to the heart by the blood. The FDA approved isosorbide mononitrate in December 1991.

Angina pectoris (angina) or "heart pain" is due to an inadequate flow of blood (and oxygen) to the muscle of the heart. Nitrates, including isosorbide mononitrate, correct the imbalance between the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart and the work that the heart must do by dilating the arteries and veins in the body. Dilation of the veins reduces the amount of blood that returns to the heart that must be pumped. Dilation of the arteries lowers the pressure in the arteries against which the heart must pump. As a consequence of both effects, the heart works less and requires less blood and oxygen.

What brand names are available for isosorbide mononitrate?

Imdur (discontinued brand), Ismo (discontinued brand), Monoket

Is isosorbide mononitrate available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for isosorbide mononitrate?

Yes

What are the side effects of isosorbide mononitrate?

Headaches are the most common side effect of isosorbide mononitrate and usually are dose related (increase with higher doses). Flushing may occur because isosorbide mononitrate dilates (enlarges) blood vessels. Isosorbide mononitrate may cause a severe drop in blood pressure when rising from a sitting position, causing: 

To reduce the risk of low blood pressure, patients should rise slowly from a sitting position.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/10/2017

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