The Transdermal Nitroglycerin Patch



  • Long term prophylactic management of angina pectoralis
  • Control of hypotension of the surgical patient
  • Management of chronic CHF


  • acts directly on the smooth muscle of the blood vessels in a similar manner to that of the natural endothelium derived relaxing factor, nitric oxide.
  • increases coronary blood flow by dilating coronary arteries
  • decreases left ventricular end-diastolic volume and left ventricular end-diastolic volume

Transdermal patch time profile:

  • onset = 40-60min
  • duration = 8-24hrs

Route and Dose

  • 0.1-0.6mg/hr
  • up to 0.8 mg/hr
  • Patch worn 12-14hrs/day
  • prevention of nitrate tolerance by maintaining the presence of therapeutic serum levels for only 12-14 hrs/day
  • If nitrates are administered around the clock, tolerance to their effects develops


The University of British Columbia. 1995. Medical Management of Ischemic Heart Disease: The Optimal Use of Nitrates. Therapeutics Initiative. Retrieved January 18, 2010 from


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