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Transderm Nitro

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Transderm Nitro

(nitroglycerin) Transdermal Therapeutic System


Nitroglycerin is 1,2,3-propanetriol, trinitrate, an organic nitrate whose structural formula is

 Transderm-Nitro® (nitroglycerin)  Structural Formula Illustration

and whose molecular weight is 227.09. The organic nitrates are vasodilators, active on both arteries and veins.

The Transderm-Nitro (nitroglycerin) transdermal system is a flat unit designed to provide continuous controlled release of nitroglycerin through intact skin.

The rate of release of nitroglycerin is linearly dependent upon the area of the applied system; each cm² of applied system delivers approximately 0.02 mg of nitroglycerin per hour. Thus, the 5-, 10-, 20-, and 30-cm² systems deliver approximately 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, and 0.6 mg of nitroglycerin per hour, respectively.

The remainder of the nitroglycerin in each system serves as a reservoir and is not delivered in normal use. After 12 hours, for example, each system has delivered 10% of its original content of nitroglycerin.

The Transderm-Nitro system comprises four layers as shown below. Proceeding from the visible surface towards the surface attached to the skin, these layers are: 1) a tan-colored backing layer (aluminized plastic) that is impermeable to nitroglycerin; 2) a drug reservoir containing nitroglycerin adsorbed on lactose, colloidal silicon dioxide, and silicone medical fluid; 3) an ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer membrane that is permeable to nitroglycerin; and 4) a layer of hypoallergenic silicone adhesive. Prior to use, a protective peel strip is removed from the adhesive surface.

Cross section of the system

Cross section of the system - Illustration

What are the possible side effects of nitroglycerin transdermal (Minitran, Nitrek, Nitro TD Patch-A, Nitro-Dur)?

Nitroglycerin transdermal can cause severe headaches, especially when you first start using it. These headaches may gradually become less severe as you continue to use nitroglycerin transdermal. Do not stop using the medication. Ask your doctor before using any headache pain medication.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Transderm Nitro »

What are the precautions when taking nitroglycerin (Transderm Nitro)?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to similar drugs (such as isosorbide mononitrate); or to nitrites; 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.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: recent head injury, 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.


Read All Potential Precautions of Transderm Nitro »

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/30/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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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