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isosorbide dinitrate (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking isosorbide dinitrate (Dilatrate-SR, Isochron, Isordil Titradose)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to isosorbide dinitrate, isosorbide mononitrate (Imdur, ISMO, Monoket), or nitroglycerin, or if you have early signs of a heart attack (chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling).

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take isosorbide dinitrate:

  • congestive heart failure;
  • low blood pressure; or
  • kidney disease.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether isosorbide dinitrate is harmful to an unborn baby. Before you take this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether isosorbide dinitrate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

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

How should I take isosorbide dinitrate (Dilatrate-SR, Isochron, Isordil Titradose)?

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication. Isosorbide dinitrate is usually taken 2 or 3 times per day. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

If possible, try to rest or stay seated when you use this medication. Isosorbide dinitrate can cause dizziness or fainting.

Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release tablet or capsule. Swallow the pill whole. Breaking the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

If you expect to engage in an activity that may cause angina, take the sublingual tablet about 15 minutes before the activity.

If you use the sublingual tablet to treat an angina attack that has already begun, use the medicine at the first sign of chest pain. Place the tablet under your tongue and allow it to dissolve slowly. Do not chew or swallow it.

Before using isosorbide dinitrate to treat a sudden angina attack, your doctor may want you to first use a nitroglycerin sublingual tablet. Follow your doctor's instructions about what medications to use during an attack and how much time to allow between doses.

Some things can cause your blood pressure to get too low. This includes vomiting, diarrhea, heavy sweating, heart disease, dialysis, a low-salt diet, or taking diuretics (water pills). Tell your doctor if you have a prolonged illness that causes diarrhea or vomiting.

Seek emergency medical attention if your chest pain gets worse or lasts more than 5 minutes, especially if you have trouble breathing or feel weak, dizzy, or nauseated, or lightheaded.

It is important to keep this medicine on hand at all times in case of an angina attack. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

If you take isosorbide dinitrate on a regular schedule to prevent angina, do not stop taking it suddenly or you could have a severe attack of angina.

Do not change brands of isosorbide dinitrate without the approval of your doctor.

Store isosorbide dinitrate at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

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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