sodium nitroprusside-injection, Nitropress (cont.)

USES: This medication is used for the immediate control of very high blood pressure. Nitroprusside is also used to treat certain heart problems (congestive heart failure) or to control bleeding during surgery.

HOW TO USE: This medication is diluted in liquid and given continuously into a vein (IV infusion). Dosage is based on the patient's condition and response to the drug. Maximum recommended doses should not be given for more than 10 minutes. Follow all instructions for proper mixing and dilution with the correct IV fluids. Consult the pharmacist. The diluted fluid should be protected from light by promptly wrapping it with an opaque sleeve or aluminum foil. This medication should be checked visually for particles or discoloration before use. Do not use the liquid if particles are present or if it is blue, green, red or darker than a faint brown color.

SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, dizziness or pain/redness at the injection site may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, notify the doctor. Unlikely but report promptly: sweating, mental/mood changes, headache, stomach pain, muscle weakness, muscle spasms. Very unlikely but report promptly: trouble breathing, chest pain, fast/slow/irregular pulse, ringing in the ears, changes in skin appearance, rash, unusual bleeding, seizures. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

PRECAUTIONS: Tell the doctor the patient's medical history, including: any allergies, liver disease, kidney disease, heart disease, anemia, dehydration, breathing problems, circulation problems (e.g., aortic coarctation, coronary or carotid artery disease), stroke (as well as increased intracranial pressure), thyroid problems (hypothyroid), eye problems (tobacco amblyopia, Leber's congenital optic atrophy). This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with the doctor. It is not known whether this drug is excreted into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult the doctor before breast-feeding. Use with caution in the elderly, as they may be more sensitive to the effects of this medication (e.g., blood pressure lowering).

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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