Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

Use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. It will only work if applied correctly.

This form of nitrate is used to reduce the number of angina attacks over a long time. It will not relieve an attack that has already started because it works too slowly. The ointment and patch forms release medicine gradually to provide an effect for 7 to 10 hours. Check with your doctor if you also need a fast-acting medicine to relieve the pain of an angina attack.

You should use this medicine first thing in the morning and follow the same schedule each day. This medicine works best if you have a "drug-free" period of time every day when you do not use it. Your doctor will schedule your doses during the day to allow for a drug-free time. Follow the schedule of dosing carefully so the medicine will work properly.

This medicine comes with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow the instructions in the leaflet carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

For patients using the ointment:

  • Before applying a new dose of ointment, remove any ointment remaining on the skin from a previous dose. This will allow the fresh ointment to release the nitroglycerin properly.
  • This medicine comes with papers to help measure the dose. Use them to measure the length of ointment squeezed from the tube and to apply the ointment to the skin. Do not rub or massage the ointment into the skin. Spread it in a thin, even layer, and cover an area of skin that is the same size each time it is applied.
  • Apply the ointment to skin with little or no hair that is free of scars, cuts, or irritation.
  • Apply each dose of ointment to a different area of skin to prevent irritation.
  • If your doctor has ordered an airtight covering or dressing (such as plastic kitchen wrap) be placed over this medicine, make sure you know how to apply it. Airtight dressings will increase the amount of medicine absorbed through the skin and may cause more side effects. Use them only as directed and check with your doctor if you have any questions about this.

For patients using the patch system:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying a patch. Do not touch your eyes until after you have washed your hands.
  • Do not try to trim or cut the adhesive patch to adjust the dosage. Check with your doctor if you think the medicine is not working as it should.
  • Apply the patch to a clean, dry skin area with little or no hair that is free of scars, cuts, or irritation.
  • Always remove a previous patch before applying a new one.
  • Apply a new patch if the first one becomes loose or falls off.
  • Apply each patch to a different area to prevent skin irritation.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For angina prevention:
    • For transdermal dosage form (ointment):
      • Adults—At first, 7.5 milligrams (mg), one-half inch of ointment, two times a day. Apply the first dose in the morning right after you wake up, and the second dose 6 hours later. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For transdermal dosage form (skin patch):
      • Adults—Apply one patch once a day in the morning. Leave the patch in place for a total of 12 to 14 hours.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

If you forget to wear or change a patch, put one on as soon as you can. If it is almost time to put on your next patch, wait until then to apply a new patch and skip the one you missed. Do not apply extra patches to make up for a missed dose.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

After removing a used patch, fold it in half with the sticky sides together. Make sure to dispose of it out of the reach of children and pets.