Nitrates (Medication)

  • 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.

  • Pharmacy Author: Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD
    Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD

    Dr. Eni Williams graduated from Creighton University in 1988 with a B.S. degree in pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy from Howard University in 1994. She also obtained a Ph.D. in Public Policy in 2009 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

  • 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.

What drugs interact with nitrates?

  • Nitrates can slow down metabolism of cabergoline and ergonovine, resulting in an increase in systolic blood pressure and an increased likelihood of angina symptoms.
  • Sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra) increase the blood pressure lowering effects of nitrates and may cause excessive blood pressure reduction. Men taking nitrates should not take sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra).

What preparations of nitrates are available?

Nitrates are available in various formulations. Nitroglycerin is available in:

  • oral capsule
  • sublingual tablet
  • sublingual spray
  • intravenous solution
  • topical ointment
  • topical patch
  • isosorbide mononitrate and isosorbide dinitrate are available as immediate and extended-release tablets

Only sublingual tablets, intravenous, or immediate release tablets are used for immediate treatment of angina because the onset of action of the other formulations is not fast enough.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/12/2016
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