March 21, 2017

Nitroprusside injection

What is nitroprusside injection?

NITROPRUSSIDE (Nitropress®) is a vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels. It reduces blood pressure, increases the blood and oxygen supply to the heart, and decreases the workload on the heart. Nitroprusside helps to reduce blood pressure in a hypertensive (high blood pressure) emergency, and helps to lower the blood pressure during surgery to prevent excessive bleeding. Nitroprusside is not for long-term use. Generic nitroprusside injections are available.

What should my health care professional know before I receive nitroprusside?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • anemia

  • blood vessel disease

  • head injury

  • heart or heart valve disease

  • kidney disease

  • Leber's disease (a disease of the eye)

  • liver disease

  • low level of sodium in the blood

  • lung disease

  • under-active thyroid

  • vitamin B12 deficiency

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to nitroprusside, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Nitroprusside is for infusion into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What drug(s) may interact with nitroprusside?

  • dobutamine

  • female hormones, including contraceptive or birth control pills

  • medicines for colds and breathing difficulties

  • medicines for high blood pressure

  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (Azilect®, Eldepryl®, Emsam®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®, Zelapar™)

  • water pills

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What should I watch for while taking nitroprusside?

Your condition will be closely monitored after you receive nitroprusside.

What side effects may I notice from receiving nitroprusside?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • confusion

  • difficulty breathing

  • dilated pupils (the center of the eye gets large)

  • dizziness, fainting spells

  • headache

  • movement difficulties

  • muscle twitching

  • nausea, vomiting

  • palpitations, increased or decreased heart rate

  • ringing in the ears

  • stomach pain

  • stuffy nose

  • sweating

  • trembling

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • pain or redness at the injection site

  • skin rashes or flushing (skin feels warm)

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

After preparation of the solution, use within 24 hours. Do not use if solution darkens or changes color. Throw away any unused solution.


March 21, 2017


U.S. FDA-approved Package Insert