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Nitroprusside is used in the treatment of heart failure and hypertensive emergency

How it works

Nitroprusside reduces the workload of the heart. As a result, heart muscle does not need as much blood and oxygen supply.

Common side effects

Decreased blood pressure

Available Medicine

Expert advice

  • Nitroprusside is given only when there is equipment and personnel available for continuous blood pressure monitoring.
  • Use with caution if you are hypothermic, suffering from liver or kidney failure.
  • Take all necessary precaution if you are suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency and inform you doctor accordingly.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery as nitroprusside may affect your reactivity.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is nitroprusside a nitrate?
Yes, nitroprusside is a nitrate

Q. Is nitroprusside an inotrope/ vasodilator?
Nitroprusside is a vasodilator

Q. Is nitroprusside the same as nitroglycerin?
Nitroprusside and nitroglycerine are two different drugs with the same mechanism of action

Q. Why nitroprusside is protected from light?
Nitroprusside is photosensitive and therefore it must be protected from light

Q. Does nitroprusside increased SVR (systemic vascular resistance)?
Nitroprusside is known to relax the peripheral smooth muscles and therefore reduce SVR

Q. Does nitroprusside reduce afterload?
Yes, nitroprusside reduces afterload.

Content on this page was last updated on 19 January, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)