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NZ Formulary

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Glyceryl trinitrate (patch)

glis-er-ril try-nye-trate

What does it do?

Glyceryl trinitrate patches are used to prevent angina and sometimes other conditions. They relax the blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow to the heart.

How should you use it?

Use glyceryl trinitrate patches regularly as directed. Apply the patch to a clean, hairless area of skin at the same time each day. Remove the patch about 16 hours later and wait at least 8 hours before applying a new patch. Apply the new patch to a different area of skin, to prevent skin irritation. Do not cut the patch.

What if you forget a dose?

Apply the missed patch as soon as possible and remove it at the normal time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with glyceryl trinitrate including:

  • sildenafil (e.g. Viagra®) or similar medicines. DO NOT use these medicines with glyceryl trinitrate. This can cause severe side effects.

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Fast heartbeat


Tell your doctor

Headache, flushing


Common when treatment begins - if side effects continue or are severe, tell your doctor.

Red or itchy skin where patch has been applied

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Tell your doctor if you have a history of fainting, or sometimes feel lightheaded.
  • Taking alcohol and glyceryl trinitrate at the same time may increase side-effects.
  • Some procedures (e.g. MRI scan) may overheat the patch and burn your skin. Discuss with your health professional before your procedure.
  • Do not stop taking glyceryl trinitrate without talking to your doctor first.
  • Dispose of glyceryl trinitrate patches by folding the patch in half with the sticky sides together. Make sure to dispose of it out of the reach of children.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. December 2017

For more general information about this sheet annd its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed