Known effects of an overdose with any nitroglycerin
product, including Minitran, include:
- Severe, throbbing headache
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting (signs of very low blood pressure)
- A spinning sensation (vertigo)
- Feelings of a rapidly or forcefully beating heart (heart palpitations)
- Vision problems
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Slow heart rate
- Blue skin, a sign of methemoglobinemia
Interestingly, leaving a Minitran patch on for longer than the recommended time (12 to 14 hours per day) is unlikely to result in an overdose. In fact, doing so will cause the body to become accustomed to Minitran, and the drug will no longer continue to be effective; this means chest pain will return.
Treatment for a Minitran Overdose
Treatment, if necessary, will involve supportive care, which consists of treating the symptoms that occur as a result of the overdose. Of greatest importance, usually, is an effort to increase blood pressure. To do this, intravenous fluids can be very useful, but also can be dangerous in certain individuals with kidney failure or congestive heart failure
For the treatment of methemoglobinemia, the treatment of choice is usually methylene blue, given intravenously (by IV). Methemoglobinemia is a condition in which the oxygen carried in the bloodstream cannot be released to the body's tissue normally. It can be serious if left untreated.
It is important that you seek prompt medical attention if you believe that you or someone else may have overdosed on Minitran.