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Isosorbide dinitrate sublingual

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.


(eye-so-SORE-bide dye-NYE-trate)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Isordil, Sorbitrate


Isosorbide relaxes blood vessels allowing more blood to flow through. This reduces the workload on the heart and improves blood flow to the heart. Sublingual isosorbide tablets act quickly to relieve or prevent chest pain (angina).

How To Use

At the first sign of chest pain, sit down and place one tablet under the tongue or between your cheek and gum allowing it to dissolve. The drug is absorbed directly through the lining of the mouth. Do not chew or swallow the tablet. Do not eat, drink or smoke while the isosorbide is in your mouth. Effects should begin in 2 to 5 minutes. If after 5 minutes there is no relief of chest pain, take another tablet. If there is no relief after taking three tablets in a 15 minute period, call your doctor immediately or go to a hospital emergency room. If you use isosorbide sublingual tablets to prevent an expected angina attack, you may place the tablet under the tongue 5 to 10 minutes before the stress or physical exertion that brings on the attack. This effect may last up to 1 hour. If you have been taking this medicine regularly for several weeks, do not suddenly stop using it. Stopping suddenly may bring on angina.

Side Effects

Headache, dizziness, flushing, rapid heartbeat, or restlessness may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. If they persist or become bothersome, inform your doctor. To prevent dizziness and lightheadedness when rising from a seated or lying position, get up slowly. Notify your doctor if you experience: blurred vision, dry mouth, skin rash, nausea. Headache is often a sign the medication is working. Treat headaches with an aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever as recommended by your doctor. If the headaches continue or become severe, notify your doctor. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Before using this drug tell your doctor your medical history especially: liver disease, kidney disease, a recent heart attack or stroke, anemia, glaucoma, a recent head injury, a thyroid condition, any drug allergies. Avoid alcohol while taking this medication. The combination can lead to blood pressure being too low. When getting up from a sitting or lying position, do it slowly. Getting up too quickly can cause faintness. Sit down if you feel dizzy. Be careful in hot weather, when exercising or when standing for long periods. This medication can make you prone to fainting in these circumstances. This drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. It is not known if isosorbide appears in breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all medications you may use including prescription and nonprescription drugs, especially: drugs for high blood pressure, certain migraine drugs (ergot alkaloids), sildenafil, high doses of aspirin. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include a persistent, throbbing headache; dizziness; confusion; weakness; sweating; changes in heart rate; changes in vision; flushing; nausea; and vomiting.


Some persons may develop a tolerance to the effects of this medication over time. Notify your doctor if the medication appears to be losing its effectiveness or if the chest pain continues while taking this drug.

Missed Dose

If you are using the sublingual tablets on a regularly scheduled long-term basis to decrease the amount of anginal attacks that occur and miss a dose: use it as soon as possible. If the next scheduled dose is within 2 hours, however, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the doses.


Store this medication at room temperature away from heat and moisture. Keep out of sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).