Nitroprusside is a vasodilator that is used to treat congestive heart failure and life-threatening high blood pressure (hypertensive crisis).
Nitroprusside is also used to control blood pressure during a surgery.
Nitroprusside may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
What is Nitroprusside (Nitropress) used for?
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Hypertensive Emergency
- Heart Disease
- Hypertensive Congestive Heart Failure
- Hypertensive Heart (w/ CHF) and Renal Disease
- Induced Hypotension
- Hypertensive Urgency
What is the most important information I should know about Nitroprusside (Nitropress)?
You should not be treated with nitroprusside if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- hereditary vision loss (Leber's disease);
- vision problems caused by smoking; or
- a history of blood clot in your brain.
If possible during an emergency, tell your caregivers if you've ever had:
- heart failure, heart attack, or stroke;
- low blood pressure;
- blood circulation problems in your arms or legs;
- liver disease;
- anemia (low red blood cells);
- sepsis (a severe reaction to an infection); or
- a head injury, brain tumor, or other cause of increased pressure inside the skull.
If possible during an emergency, tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What are the side effects of Nitroprusside (Nitropress)?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Tell your caregivers right away if you have:
- a light-headed feeling, even while lying down;
- chest pain, severe shortness or breath;
- pounding heartbeats, sweating;
- a restless or uneasy feeling, or if you feel very weak or tired;
- stomach pain, nausea, vomiting;
- headache, confusion, ringing in your ears;
- muscle pain or twitching, problems with muscle movement;
- a numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs; or
- blue colored lips, fingers, or toes.
Common side effects may include:
- flushing (sudden warmth, redness, or tingly feeling); or
- bruising or irritation around the IV needle.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Can I take Nitroprusside (Nitropress) if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
What drugs and food should I avoid while taking Nitroprusside (Nitropress)?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Dosage Guidelines & Tips
How to take Nitroprusside (Nitropress)?
Use Nitroprusside (Nitropress) exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Nitroprusside is injected into a vein through an infusion pump. A healthcare provider will give you this injection in a medical setting.
For hypertensive crisis, nitroprusside is usually given only until you are able to take a longer-acting medicine to lower your blood pressure.
Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs will be watched closely.
Your blood will also be tested to make sure nitroprusside is not causing harmful effects.
What happens if I overdose on Nitroprusside (Nitropress)?
Overdose may cause confusion, weakness, severe dizziness, seizure, or fainting. In a medical setting an overdose would be treated quickly.