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As tolerance to other forms of nitroglycerin develops, the effect of sublingual nitroglycerin on exercise tolerance, although still observable, is reduced.
Severe hypotension, particularly with upright posture, may occur even with small doses of nitroglycerin. The drug should therefore be used with caution in patients who may be volume-depleted or who, for whatever reason, are already hypotensive. Hypotension induced by nitroglycerin may be accompanied by paradoxical bradycardia and increased angina pectoris.
The benefits of NitroMist (nitroglycerin lingual aerosol) in patients with acute myocardial infarction or congestive heart failure have not been established. If one elects to use NitroMist (nitroglycerin lingual aerosol) in these conditions, careful clinical or hemodynamic monitoring must be used because of the possibility of hypotension and tachycardia.
Nitroglycerin produces dose-related headaches, which may be severe. Tolerance to headaches occurs.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Animal careinogenicity studies with sublingually administered or lingual spray nitroglycerin have not been performed.
Rats receiving up to 434 mg/kg/day of dietary nitroglycerin for 2 years developed dose-related fibrotic and neoplastic changes in liver, including carcinomas, and interstitial cell tumors in testes. At the highest dose, the incidences of hepatocellular carcinomas was 52% compared to 0% in untreated controls. Incidences of testicular tumors were 52% vs. 8% in controls. Lifetime dietary administration of up to 1058 mg/k/day of nitroglycerin was not tumorigenic in mice.
Nitroglycerin was found to have reverse mutation activity in the Salmonella typhimurium strain TA1535 (Ames assay). A similar mutation in S. typhimurium strain was also reported for other NO donors. Nevertheless, there was no evidence of mutagenicity in an in vivo dominant lethal assay with male rats treated with oral doses of up to about 363 mg/kg/day or in ex vitro cytogenic tests in rat and dog tissues. In vitro cytogenetic assay using Chinese hamster ovary cells showed no chromosomal aberrations.
In a 3-generation reproduction study, rats received dietary nitroglycerin at doses up to about 408 mg/kg/day (males) to 452 mg/kg/day (females) for 5 months (females) or 6 months (males) prior to mating of the F0 generation with treatment continuing through successive F1 and F2 generations. The highest dose was associated with decreased feed intake and body weight gain in both sexes at all matings. No specific effect on the fertility of the F0 generation was seen. Infertility noted in subsequent generations, however, was attributed to increased interstitial cell tissue and aspermatogenesis in the high-dose mates.
Pregnancy category C: Animal reproduction and teratogenicity studies have not been conducted with NitroMist or nitroglycerin sublingual tablets. It is also not known whether NitroMist (nitroglycerin lingual aerosol) can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. A teratogenicity study was conducted in the third mating of F0 generation female rats administered dietary nitroglycerin for gestation days 6 to t5 at dose levels used in the 3-generation reproduction study. In offspring of the high-dose nitroglycerin group, increased incidence of diaphragmatic hernias and decreased hyoid bone ossification were seen. The latter finding probably reflects delayed development rather than a potential teratogenic effect, thus indicating no clear evidence of teratogenicity of nitroglycerin.
There are no adequate and well controlled studies in pregnant women. NitroMist (nitroglycerin lingual aerosol) should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.
It is not known whether nitroglycerin is excreted in human milk, Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when NitroMist (nitroglycerin lingual aerosol) is administered to a nursing woman.
The safety and effectiveness of nitroglycerin in pediatric patients have not been established.
Clinical studies of NitroMist (nitroglycerin lingual aerosol) did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between elderly (65 years) and younger (<65 years) patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/26/2007
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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