Nitrates and Viagara: Deadly Combination?

Winter 2001 CSANews Issue 41  |  Posted date : Apr 03, 2007.Back to list

A new study confirms that you shouldn't take nitrate medications, such as the heart drug nitroglycerin, in combination with the impotence drug sildenafil (Viagra). Combining the two could cause a dangerous drop in your blood pressure, insufficient coronary artery circulation and perhaps even death.

Results of the study appeared in the Nov. 14, 2000, issue of the journal Circulation.

Nitrates work by relaxing (dilating) blood vessels in the heart. Viagra relaxes muscles that line blood vessels. This could compound the effects of nitrates and produce a sudden drop in blood pressure.

Doctors say the caution about combining nitrate medications and Viagra applies not only to nitroglycerin pills that are placed under the tongue but also to other forms of nitrates. These may include nitrate medications delivered as sprays, skin patches, ointments or long-acting tablets and capsules.

Some commonly used nitrates are Nitrostat, Nito-BID, Nitro-Dur, isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil, Sorbitrate), isosorbide mononitrate (Imdur, ISMO, Monoket), amyl nitrite, Nitrong and Nitrogard.

Reprinted courtesy of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.