Skip to main content

 

Heart Failure Online Manual

Skip section navigation

Hydralazine and nitrates

If you cannot tolerate ACE inhibitors or ARBs, you may be prescribed hydralazine and nitrates. When taken together, they relax your blood vessels and decrease how hard your heart has to work to pump blood through your body.

The most common combination is hydralazine (Apresoline®) and isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil®).

Side effects

Important

If you have any of the side effects listed here, call your health care provider.

Side effects of these medicines when taken together are:

  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • nausea and vomiting.

Call your health care provider if you have any of these side effects.

When to call your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you have any of the following while taking hydralazine:

  • dizziness
  • prolonged/severe headache
  • skin blisters
  • joint/muscle pain
  • skin rash/itch
  • fever
  • sore throat.

When to call your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you have any of the following while taking nitrates:

Caution

Do not use Viagra® (sildenfil) with nitrates because the combination will further decrease your blood pressure, which can lead to death.

  • dry mouth
  • blurred vision
  • severe/prolonged headache
  • blushed color to your lips/fingernails
  • fast pulse.

Side effects that go away after use for hydralazine include:

Important

If you have any of the side effects listed here, call your health care provider.

  • facial flushing/redness
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea/vomiting
  • constipation.

Side effects that go away after use for nitrates include:

  • dizziness/lightheadedness
  • headache
  • nausea/vomiting
  • flushing of your face/neck.

 

 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Heart Failure, third edition, ISBN 1-931876-20-7

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 07/19/2008

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts