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Venous and arterial dilatation as a consequence of nitroglycerin treatment including RECTIV, can decrease venous blood returning to the heart and reduce arterial vascular resistance and systolic pressure. Exercise caution when treating patients with any of the following conditions: blood volume depletion, existing hypotension, cardiomyopathies, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, or poor cardiac function for other reasons. If patients with any of these conditions are treated with RECTIV, monitor cardiovascular status and clinical condition. The adverse reactions of RECTIV are likely to be more pronounced in the elderly.
RECTIV produces dose-related headaches, which may be severe. Tolerance to headaches occurs.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-approved patient labeling (Patient Information and Instructions for Use)
Interaction with PDE5 Inhibitors
Advise patient not to use RECTIV with medications for erectile dysfunction such as Viagra (sildenafil), Levitra (vardenafil), and Cialis (tadalafil). These products have been shown to increase the hypotensive effects of RECTIV and other nitrate drugs.
Advise patients that treatment with RECTIV may be associated with light-headedness on standing, especially just after rising from a lying or seated position. The effect may be more frequent in patients who have also consumed alcohol, since alcohol use contributes to hypotension. Advise patients to stand up from the supine or sitting position slowly.
Advise patients that headaches sometimes accompany treatment with RECTIV. For patients who get these headaches, the headaches may indicate the activity of the drug. Tolerance to headaches develops. Advise patients that if they experience headache they should not alter the schedule of their RECTIV treatment to avoid the occurrence of headache. An analgesic, such as acetaminophen, may be used to prevent or relieve the headaches.
Advise patients that dizziness has been reported as a side-effect of treatment with RECTIV. Advise patients not to drive or operate machinery immediately after applying RECTIV.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Animal carcinogenicity studies with topically applied 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 incidence of hepatocellular carcinomas was 52% compared to 0% in untreated controls. Incidence of testicular tumors were 52% vs. 8% in controls. Lifetime dietary administration of up to 1058 mg/kg/day of nitroglycerin was not tumorigenic in mice.
Nitroglycerin was mutagenic in the in vitro bacterial reverse mutation (Ames) assay with Salmonella typhimurium. A similar mutation in this S. typhimurium was also reported with other NO donors. There was no evidence of clastogenic potential in multiple assays including a rodent dominant lethal assay, an in vitro Chinese Hamster Ovary assay that was conducted in the absence of metabolic activation, and several in vivo chromosomal aberration assays conducted in rats and dogs.
In a three-generation reproduction study, rats received dietary nitroglycerin at doses up to approximately 434 mg/kg/day for 6 months prior to mating of the FO generation with treatment continuing through successive F1 and F2 generations. The high 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 males.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C
Animal reproduction and teratogenicity studies have not been conducted with RECTIV. Nitroglycerin was not teratogenic when administered by topical or dietary route. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. RECTIV should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Teratology studies in rats and rabbits were conducted with topically applied nitroglycerin ointment at doses up to 80 mg/kg/day and 240 mg/kg/day, respectively. No toxic effects on dams or fetuses were seen at any dose tested.
A teratogenicity study was conducted in rats with nitroglycerin administered in the diet at levels up to 1% content (approximately 430 mg/kg/day) on days 6 to 15 of gestation. In offspring of the high-dose group, an increased but not statistically significant incidence of diaphragmatic hernias was noted together with decreased hyoid bone ossification. The latter finding probably reflects delayed development, thus indicating no clear evidence of a potential teratogenic effect of nitroglycerin.
It is not known whether nitroglycerin is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when RECTIV is administered to a nursing woman.
The safety and effectiveness of RECTIV in pediatric patients under 18 years of age have not been established.
Clinical studies of RECTIV did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Clinical data from the published literature indicate that the elderly demonstrate increased sensitivity to nitrates, which may be therapeutic but also manifest by more frequent or severe hypotension and related dizziness or fainting. Increased sensitivity may reflect the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
Last reviewed on RxList: 8/2/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Rectiv Information
- Rectiv Drug Interactions Center: nitroglycerin rect
- Rectiv Side Effects Center
- Rectiv FDA Approved Prescribing Information including Dosage
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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