Isosorbide dinitrate is used to prevent chest pain (angina) in patients with a certain heart condition (coronary artery disease). This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as nitrates. It works by relaxing and widening blood vessels so blood can flow more easily to the heart.
This medication will not relieve chest pain once it occurs. It is also not intended to be taken just before physical activities (such as exercise, sexual activity) to prevent chest pain. Other medications may be needed in these situations. Consult your doctor for more details.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
Take this medication by mouth, usually 2 to 3 times daily or as directed by your doctor. It is important to take the drug at the same times each day. Do not change the dosing times unless directed by your doctor.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Although unlikely, when this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well and may require different dosing. Tell your doctor if this medication stops working well (for example, you have worsening chest pain or it occurs more often).
Headache is often a sign that this medication is working. Your doctor may recommend treating headaches with an over-the-counter pain reliever (such as acetaminophen, aspirin). If the headaches continue or become severe, tell your doctor promptly.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fainting, fast/irregular/pounding heartbeat.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to similar drugs (such as isosorbide mononitrate, nitroglycerin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: recent head injury.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: anemia, low blood pressure, loss of too much body water (dehydration), other heart problems (such as recent heart attack).
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication, especially dizziness and lightheadedness, which could increase the risk of falls.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious (possibly fatal) interactions may occur: drugs to treat erectile dysfunction-ED or pulmonary hypertension (such as sildenafil, tadalafil), riociguat.
If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting isosorbide dinitrate.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: rosiglitazone, certain drugs to treat migraine headaches (ergot alkaloids such as ergotamine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen) because they may contain ingredients that could worsen symptoms of heart failure. Ask your pharmacist for more details.
Isosorbide dinitrate is very similar to isosorbide mononitrate. Do not use medications containing isosorbide mononitrate while using isosorbide dinitrate.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including blood cholesterol levels), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: slow heartbeat, vision changes, severe nausea/vomiting, sweating, cold/clammy skin, bluish fingers/toes/lips.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood pressure monitoring) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Lifestyle changes such as dietary changes, exercise, and stopping smoking may help this drug work better. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is within 2 hours of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised December 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet