Heart Disease Home > Nitro-Dur

Nitro-Dur is a medicated skin patch prescribed to prevent chest pain (angina). This medication contains nitroglycerin, which works by relaxing the arteries and blood vessels in the body to improve blood flow to the heart. The patch is usually applied once daily and worn for 12 to 14 hours. Potential side effects include headaches, lightheadedness, and fainting.

What Is Nitro-Dur?

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

Who Makes This Medication?

Nitro-Dur is made by Key Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How Does Nitro-Dur Work?

Nitro-Dur works by relaxing the veins and arteries in the body. With the arteries and veins relaxed, the heart does not need to work so hard and does not require as much oxygen. Because angina is usually caused when there is not enough oxygen to meet the heart's needs, Nitro-Dur can help prevent angina attacks.
However, because Nitro-Dur is a skin patch, it does not start working fast enough to actually treat an angina attack that has already started.

When and How to Use It

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Nitro-Dur include the following:
  • This patch is applied once a day and worn for 12 to 14 hours.
  • As with all nitroglycerin products, it is important that your body gets a 10- to 12-hour break from the drug every day. Without this break, your body quickly becomes accustomed to the nitroglycerin and the drug will become completely ineffective within 24 hours.
  • Apply the patch to a clean, dry, hairless area of the body, preferably the chest. 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.
  • 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. Leaving it on for too long could cause your body to become accustomed to the effects of nitroglycerin, making the drug completely ineffective.
  • You can swim, shower, or bathe while wearing the patch. 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 and removing it at your regular time.
  • For Nitro-Dur 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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