Nitroprusside is an injectable prescription medication used to treat hypertension and congestive heart failure.

Nitroprusside Overview


Nitroprusside is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure (hypertention) and congestive heart failure.

Nitroprusside belongs to a group of drugs called antihypertensives. These work by relaxing smooth muscle of blood vessels which causes dilation of arteries and veins. This dilation leads to lower blood pressure.

This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein by a healthcare professional.

Common side effects of nitroprusside include excessively low blood pressure (hypotension), cyanide toxicity, and injection site irritation.

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Nitroprusside Cautionary Labels


Uses of Nitroprusside

Nitropress is a prescription medication used to treat hypertensive crisis and acute congestive heart failure.

Nitroprusside Brand Names

Nitroprusside may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Nitroprusside Drug Class

Nitroprusside is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Nitroprusside

Serious side effects have been reported with nitroprusside. See the “Nitroprusside Precautions” section.

Common side effects of nitroprusside include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Increase/decrease in heart rate
  • Palpitations
  • Injection site irritation
  • Rash
  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness

This is not a complete list of nitroprusside side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

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

Nitroprusside FDA Warning

Nitroprusside is not suitable for direct injection; the reconstituted solution must be further diluted in sterile 5% dextrose injection before infusion. Nitroprusside can cause precipitous decreases in blood pressure; monitor blood pressure continuously while patient is on therapy. Nitroprusside can cause cyanide toxicity which can be lethal. Infusion at the maximum dose rate (10 mcg/kg/min) should never last more than 10 minutes. Monitor acid-base balance and venous oxygen concentration while on therapy as these tests may indicate cyanide toxicity.