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Signs and Symptoms
Nitrate overdosage may result in: severe hypotension, persistent throbbing headache, vertigo, palpitation, visual disturbance, flushing and perspiring skin (later becoming cold and cyanotic), nausea and vomiting (possibly with colic and even bloody diarrhea), syncope (especially in the upright posture), methemoglobinemia with cyanosis and anorexia, initial hyperpnea, dyspnea and slow breathing, slow pulse (dicrotic and intermittent), heart block, increased intracranial pressure with cerebral symptoms of confusion and moderate fever, paralysis and coma followed by clonic convulsions, and possibly death due to circulatory collapse.
Case reports of clinically significant methemoglobinemia are rare at conventional doses of organic nitrates. The formation of methemoglobin is dose-related and in the case of genetic abnormalities of hemoglobin that favor methemoglobin formation, even conventional doses of organic nitrates could produce harmful concentrations of methemoglobin.
Treatment of Overdosage
Keep the patient recumbent in a shock position and comfortably warm. Passive movement of the extremities may aid venous return. Administer oxygen and artificial ventilation, if necessary. If methemoglobinemia is present, administration of methylene blue (1% solution), 1-2 mg per kilogram of body weight intravenously, may be required. If an excessive quantity of Nitrolingual® Pumpspray (nitroglycerin lingual spray) has been recently swallowed gastric lavage may be of use.
Allergic reactions to organic nitrates are rare. Nitroglycerin is contraindicated in patients who are allergic to it. Nitrolingual® Pumpspray (nitroglycerin lingual spray) is contraindicated in patients taking certain drugs for erectile dysfunction (phosphodiesterase inhibitors), as their concomitant use can cause severe hypotension. The time course and dose-dependency of this interaction are not known.
Last reviewed on RxList: 11/3/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Nitrolingual Pumpspray Information
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