Heart Disease Home > Minitran

Minitran is a skin patch that helps prevent a certain type of chest pain (angina). It is applied once a day and must be removed after 12 to 14 hours. It should only be used to prevent angina attacks; it doesn't work fast enough to treat an attack that has already started. The most common side effect of this drug is a headache.

What Is Minitran?

Minitran™ (nitroglycerin patch) is a prescription skin patch approved to help prevent attacks of angina (chest pain caused by inadequate blood supply to the heart).
(Click Minitran Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Minitran?

Minitran is made by 3M Drug Delivery Systems for Graceway Pharmaceuticals, LLC.

How Does It Work?

Minitran works by causing the veins and arteries of the body to relax. With the arteries -- and especially the veins -- relaxed, the heart doesn't need to work as hard and doesn't require as much oxygen. Since angina is usually caused when there is not enough oxygen to meet the heart's needs, Minitran can help prevent angina attacks. However, as a skin patch, it does not start working fast enough to actually treat an angina attack that is already occurring.

When and How to Use Minitran

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Minitran include the following:
  • This patch is applied once a day and worn for 12 to 14 hours.
  • As with all nitroglycerin products, it is very important that your body gets a 10- to 12-hour break from the drug every day. Without this break, your body will become accustomed to the nitroglycerin very quickly, and it will completely stop working for you within 24 hours.
  • Apply the Minitran patch to a clean, dry, hair-free area of the body, preferably the chest, shoulders, upper arm, or back. Do not apply it to the arms below the elbows or the legs below the knees. If a hairless area is not available, the hair can be clipped short but not shaved. Rotate the application sites so that you don't use the same site twice in a row.
  • Choose an area that is free of irritations or cuts. It is best not to apply the patch right after bathing or showering, as the skin may not be completely dry.
  • Don't forget to remove the patch at the specified time, or the medication will quickly stop working for you.
  • You can swim, shower, or bathe with the patch on. In the unlikely event that the patch comes off, simply replace it with a new one, treating the patch as if it were the old one (remove it at your regular time).
  • For Minitran to work properly, it must be used as prescribed.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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