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Sodium nitroprusside (By injection)

Sodium Nitroprusside (SOE-dee-um nye-troe-PRUS-ide)

Lowers blood pressure and treats acute heart failure. Also reduces bleeding during surgery.

Brand Name(s):

Nipride RTU, Nitropress, Sodium Nitroprusside Novaplus

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to sodium nitroprusside, or if you have circulation problems, heart disease, congenital Leber's optic atrophy, or tobacco amblyopia.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.

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 use this medicine together with riociguat, sildenafil, tadalafil, or vardenafil.
  • Some medicines can affect how sodium nitroprusside works. Tell your doctor if you are using blood pressure medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, anemia, head injury, or trouble urinating. Tell your doctor if you are planning for any surgery.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, or lightheaded. Stand or sit up slowly if you are dizzy.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

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

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • Chest pain, fast or slow heartbeat
  • Extreme weakness, tiredness, or confusion
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Rapid breathing, trouble breathing, nausea or vomiting
  • Severe headache
  • Severe stomach pain or constipation
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

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

  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed

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: 10/6/2020

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