Nitroderm Tts Consumer Medicine Information
5mg and 10mg Transdermal Patches
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Nitroderm TTS.
It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you using Nitroderm TTS against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about using this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.
What Nitroderm TTS is used for
Nitroderm TTS is used to prevent pectoris angina. It is an adhesive patch that delivers a medicine called nitroglycerin through the skin and into the bloodstream.
Nitroderm TTS is also used as a supplementary medicine for the treatment of patients suffering from heart failure do not respond adequately to conventional therapy.
Nitroderm TTS belongs to a group of medicines called nitrates. Nitrates work by widening blood vessels, letting more blood and oxygen reach the heart.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been
prescribed for you.
Your doctor may have prescribed it for another purpose.
Nitroderm TTS is not recommended for use in children, as there is not enough information on its use in that age group.
This medicine is not habit-forming.
Before you use Nitroderm TTS
When you must not use it
Do not use Nitroderm TTS if you are allergic to:
- nitroglycerin, the active ingredient in Nitroderm TTS.
- any other ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
- any other medicine or food containing nitrates or nitrites
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin.
Do not use Nitroderm TTS if you have any of the following medical conditions:
- severe anaemia
- failure of the circulation, resulting in very low blood pressure
- glaucoma or raised pressure in the eye from any cause
- increased pressure in the head from any cause (stroke, tumour, head injury)
- disease in the valves of your heart or inflammation of your heart
If you are not sure whether any of the above medical conditions apply to
you, ask your doctor.
This medicine may make your condition worse.
Do not use Nitroderm TTS if you are taking Viagra, a medicine for
impotence in men.
If you use these two medicines together, your blood pressure may fall to a dangerously low level.
Do not use Nitroderm TTS after the expiry date printed on the pack.
If you use it after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well as it should.
Do not use Nitroderm TTS if the packaging is torn or shows signs of
In that case, return it to your pharmacist.
If you are not sure whether you should start using Nitroderm TTS, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Before you start to use it
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any other medicines, foods,
dyes or preservatives.
Your doctor will want to know if you are prone to allergies.
Tell your doctor if you have any of the following medical conditions:
- recent heart attack, stroke or head injury
- heart disease or blood vessel disorder other than angina
- low blood pressure
- lung disease
- liver disease
Your doctor may want to take special precautions if you have any of the above conditions.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
This medicine may affect your baby if you use it while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your doctor can discuss with you the risks and benefits involved.
If you have not told your doctor about any of these things, tell him/her before you use Nitroderm TTS.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines,
including any that you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket
or health food shop.
Some medicines and Nitroderm TTS may interfere with each other. These include:
- Viagra, a medicine for impotence in men
- other medicines for angina
- medicines for high blood pressure or heart trouble
- diuretic medicines, also called water or fluid tablets
- tricyclic antidepressants, medicines used to treat depression
- medicines for mental disorders
- dihydroergotamine, a medicine for migraine
- acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin)
- medicines used to treat inflammation called non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Other medicines may be affected by Nitroderm TTS or they may affect how well it works. You may need to take different amounts of your medicine or you may need to take different medicines.
Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while you are using Nitroderm TTS.
How to use Nitroderm TTS
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist
They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the label, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How much to use
Your doctor may start your treatment with one Nitroderm TTS 5 patch per day for several days and then change to the larger Nitroderm TTS 10 patch. The usual dose for most people is one Nitroderm TTS 10 patch per day, although some people may need more or less.
When to use it
You will normally apply a patch once each day, usually in the morning.
Your doctor will likely ask you to take the patch off for 8 to 12 hours out of every 24 hours (e.g. take it off at bedtime and put a new one on when you wake up in the morning). This "patch off" period may make it work better.
How to apply the patch
Follow these steps to apply a patch to your skin.
A leaflet in the cardboard carton contains pictures showing how to apply the patch properly.
- Choose an area of skin:
- The best place is your chest but you may use any area except below your knees or elbows.
- Choose an area of skin that has no sores, cuts or rashes.
- If the skin is very hairy, you can clip the hair (do not shave it) so that the patch sticks well and won't be hard to remove.
- Use a different area of skin each day. Wait several days before using the same area again.
- Make sure the skin is clean, cool, dry and free from creams, lotions or
- You may need to wash the area with soap and water and dry it completely.
- If your skin is very oily, you can use methylated spirits to clean it, then dry it completely.
- After a shower or bath, wait a few minutes before applying the patch to make sure your skin is completely cool and dry.
- You may use body lotion or bath oil after the patch has been applied.
- Open the sachet that contains the patch:
- Tear open the sachet at the notch and remove the patch.
- Do not use scissors because you may accidentally cut the patch and the medicine may leak out.
- Any air bubbles on the patch are not important.
- Remove the protective liner from the sticky side of the patch:
- Pick up the patch with the tab upwards and the white liner facing you.
- Firmly bend the tab forward with your thumb.
- Use both thumbs to peel off the protective liner, starting at the tab. Do not touch the sticky surface of the patch.
- Throw the liner away.
- Apply the patch to the skin as soon as you have removed the liner:
- Press the sticky side of the patch to the area of skin you have chosen so that the tan coloured side is showing.
- Press the patch firmly in place with the palm of your hand for 10 to 20 seconds. The patch needs the pressure and heat of your hand to stick well.
- Check that the patch has stuck by running your finger around the edge. Do not try to lift the edge of the patch to see if it has stuck.
How to remove the patch
- Use the little tab to pull the patch away from your skin.
- Fold the old patch in half with the sticky side inwards.
- Throw the old patch away safely out of the reach of children. The patch still contains some leftover medicine that could harm a child.
- Remove any stickiness from the skin with soap and water or methylated spirits.
If the patch falls off
- Throw the patch away.
- Apply a new patch to a different area of clean, dry skin.
- Change the patch at the next time that you would normally change it.
Bathing, swimming, showering or exercising will usually not affect the patch if it has been correctly applied.
If the patch irritates your skin
- Check that water has not gotten under the patch. If it has, remove the patch and apply a new one to a different area.
- Try a less sensitive area, for example your upper arm.
- Remember to use a new area of skin for each patch.
- Do not use the same area of skin for at least a week.
- You can use a mild cream on the sore area once the patch has been removed.
How long to use it
Use Nitroderm TTS for as long as your doctor tells you to.
Otherwise, you may not get relief from your attacks of angina. Try not to miss any doses and use the medicine even if you feel well.
Do not stop using Nitroderm TTS suddenly.
Stopping this medicine suddenly may bring on attacks of angina, especially if you have been using it for several weeks or more. If you want to stop using it, your doctor will tell you how to do it gradually (e.g. over 4 to 6 weeks) to avoid making your angina worse.
If you forget to use it
If it almost time to apply your next patch, skip the one you missed and apply the next patch when you are meant to.
Otherwise, apply the patch as soon as you remember, and then go back to using it as you would normally.
Do not use a double dose to make up for the one that you missed.
This may increase the chance of you getting an unwanted side effect.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering when to use your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you use too much (overdose)
Remove the patch. Immediately telephone your doctor or the National Poisons Information Centre, Dunedin (telephone 0800 POISON or 0800 764 766) or go to the Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have used too much Nitroderm TTS.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
Keep telephone numbers for these places handy.
Symptoms of too much nitroglycerin may include fast heartbeat, dizziness, light-headedness or fainting, especially when you get up quickly from a sitting or lying position. This is because your blood pressure is too low.
While you are using Nitroderm TTS
Things you must do
Tell your doctor if you continue to have angina attacks or if they become
more frequent or severe while you are using Nitroderm TTS. Keep a record of the
number of attacks, when they happen and the possible cause (for example, during
exercise or during the period when the patch is off).
This helps your doctor give you the best possible treatment.
If you become pregnant while taking Nitroderm TTS, tell your doctor
You doctor can discuss with you the risks of using it while you are pregnant.
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are using Nitroderm TTS.
Tell any other doctor, dentist or pharmacist who treats you that you are using Nitroderm TTS.
Things you must not do
Do not use Nitroderm TTS to relieve acute attacks of angina.
This medicine will not relieve an acute attack of angina once it has started. Your doctor will have given you other tablets or spray to use when you get attacks of angina.
Do not use it to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if their symptoms seem similar to yours or they have the same condition as you.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving, operating machinery or doing jobs that require you to
be alert until you know how Nitroderm TTS affects you.
This medicine may cause dizziness, fainting or blurred vision in some people, especially when you first start to use it or if the dose is increased.
Be careful when drinking alcohol while you are using Nitroderm TTS.
If you drink alcohol while you are using it, your blood pressure may drop, making you feel dizzy or faint.
If Nitroderm TTS makes you feel light-headed, dizzy or faint, be careful
when getting up from a sitting or lying position.
These symptoms can usually be prevented by getting up slowly and flexing leg muscles and toes to get the blood flowing. When getting out of bed, dangle your legs over the side for a minute or two before standing up. Use extra care when exercising, driving or standing for long periods, especially in hot weather.
Be careful not to overdo physical activities when you start using
You may feel better when you start using it, but you will need time to improve your physical fitness.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well
while you are using Nitroderm TTS.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
If you are over 65 years old, you should be especially careful and report
any side effects promptly to your doctor.
As people grow older, they are more likely to get side effects from medicines.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- headache (which usually goes away after taking a mild pain reliever such as paracetamol)
- dizziness or lightheadedness, sometimes accompanied by a fast heart beat, especially when getting up suddenly
- itching or burning under the patch
- reddening of the skin after the patch has been taken off
- flushing of the face
- nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting
Tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:
- signs of allergy such as rash, itching or hives on the skin; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; shortness of breath, wheezing or troubled breathing
- severe redness, swelling or blisters under the patch
- chest pains that are not relieved by taking your usual medicine for treating an angina attack
- severe dizziness or fainting
- severe or persistent headache
The above side effects may be serious. You may need urgent medical attention.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel
Other side effects not listed above may happen in some people.
After using Nitroderm TTS
- Keep your patches in the cardboard carton until it is time to use them.
- Store the patches in a cool dry place but do not freeze them.
- Do not store Nitroderm TTS or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink.
- Do not leave the patches in the car or on window sills.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines. Nitroderm TTS will keep well if it is cool and dry.
Keep the patches where children cannot reach them.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
- Fold used patches in half with the sticky side inwards.
- Dispose of the patches where children cannot reach them.
Used patches still contain some nitroglycerin that could harm a child.
If your doctor tells you to stop using the patches, or you find that they have passed their expiry date,
ask your pharmacist what to do with any that you have left over.
What it looks like
Nitroderm TTS 5: tan coloured oval patch marked CG DOD; 30 patches per carton.
Nitroderm TTS 10: tan coloured oblong patch marked CG DPD; 30 patches per carton.
Nitroderm TTS patches are made up of five layers:
- a waterproof tan coloured backing film
- a drug reservoir containing nitroglycerin
- a membrane which controls the release of nitroglycerin into the skin
- an adhesive (sticky) layer
- a white to off-white protective liner which is removed before using the patch.
Nitroderm TTS 5: each patch contains 25 mg nitroglycerin and has a contact surface of 10 square cm. that releases approximately 5 mg nitroglycerin in 24 hours.
Nitroderm TTS 10: each patch contains 50 mg nitroglycerin and has a contact surface of 20 square cm. that releases approximately 10 mg nitroglycerin in 24 hours.
The patches also contain:
- silica oil
- silica aerogel
- ethylene va copolymer
- silicon medical adhesive
® = registered trademark
This leaflet was prepared on 15 October 2004 based on the currently approved data sheet for this product.