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Allergic and nonallergic reactions to nitroglycerin

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Allergic and nonallergic reactions to nitroglycerin occur. The aims of this study were to review the different manifestations of nitroglycerin allergy, to explain how to evaluate for it, and to discuss its treatment. We reviewed relevant literature in peer-reviewed journals, computerized databases, and references identified from relevant bibliographics. Nitroglycerin's most common side effects are headache, facial flushing, head throbbing, fainting, hypotension, tachycardia, and syncope. The majority of reported skin reactions to topical and transdermal nitroglycerin products are irritant contact dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, and urticaria. Five cases of presumed allergic reactions to oral, sublingual, intravenous, or perianal nitroglycerin products have been described. Patch testing may be helpful in subjects with skin reactions to topical or transdermal nitroglycerin. In subjects with positive patch tests to nitroglycerin (allergic contact dermatitis), transdermal nitroglycerin patches and other topical nitroglycerin products should be avoided. Most patients with contact dermatitis to nitroglycerin have tolerated oral nitroglycerin, sublingual nitroglycerin, or oral isosorbide challenges.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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