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Generic Name: amyl nitrite

What is this medicine?

AMYL NITRITE (AM il NYE trate) is used to relieve chest pain caused by angina.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • anemia
  • glaucoma
  • head injury, recent stroke, or bleeding in the brain
  • low blood pressure
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to amyl nitrite, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for inhalation. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use this medicine at the first sign of an angina attack (chest pain or tightness). Do not remove the woven covering on the glass ampule. Crush the ampule between the fingers and with the patient in a sitting position, pass in front of the nose several times for inhalation of the vapor. Remain in a sitting position after use. The dose may be repeated in 3 to 5 minutes if needed for pain relief. If there is still no relief after a second dose, seek medical attention. Do not use this medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply. This medicine is only used as needed.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • medicines used to treat erectile dysfunction like sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Check your heart rate and blood pressure regularly while you are using this medicine. Ask your doctor or health care professional what your heart rate and blood pressure should be and when you should contact him or her.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • bluish discoloration of lips, fingernails, or palms of hands
  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat, palpitations, chest pain
  • low blood pressure
  • shortness of breath
  • the feeling of extreme pressure in the head
  • unusually weak or tired

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

  • dizziness
  • flushing of the face and neck
  • headache

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of reach of children.

Store in the refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). The contents of the capsule are flammable. Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.


All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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