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Amyl nitrite (By breathing)

Amyl Nitrite (A-mil NYE-trite)

Treats and prevents chest pain (angina pectoris).

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to amyl nitrite. You should not use this medicine if you are pregnant, if you have glaucoma, or if you have recently had a head injury.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • It is best to use this medicine while you are sitting or lying down.
  • Hold the inhalant vial away from your face while you are opening it. The vial has a dot located at the center of the inhalant. To break open the vial, crush it between your thumb and forefinger at the point where the dot is located.
  • Crush the vial only once. Then pass it back and forth several times under your nose, or the nose of the person you are treating for chest pain.
  • Wash your hands after using this medicine.
  • This medicine is highly flammable. Do not use near heat or open flame, or while you are smoking.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store this medicine in the refrigerator or in a cool place, away from heat and light. Do not break open a medicine vial until you are ready to use it. Throw the vial away after one use. Do not discard empty medicine bottles into a fire.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breast feeding.
  • Using this medicine many times over a long period of time may make you less sensitive to its helpful effects.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Chest pain that continues for longer than 3 minutes after inhaling the medicine.
  • Fast or racing heartbeat.
  • Lightheadedness or fainting.
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control.
  • Pale, cold, or clammy skin.
  • Shallow breathing, muscle weakness.
  • Warmth or redness in your face.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Restless feeling.
  • Weakness.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

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