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Sodium nitrite

Generic Name: Sodium Nitrite (SOW dee um NYE trite)
Easy-to-read patient leaflet for Sodium Nitrite. Includes indications, proper use, special instructions, precautions, and possible side effects.
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Drug Information:
This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take sodium nitrite with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor. Use sodium nitrite as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely. Learn more

Sodium nitrite Side Effects

Sodium nitrite Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to sodium nitrite: intravenous solution


  • This drug may cause low blood pressure and a red blood cell problem called methemoglobinemia. These may be life-threatening. This drug is only for use when cyanide poisoning is life-threatening. This drug must be used with care if it is not known if cyanide poisoning has happened. Talk with the doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you have inhaled a lot of smoke or if you have any of these health problems: Anemia, heart problems, lack of a certain enzyme called congenital methemoglobin reductase deficiency, or lung problems.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of methemoglobinemia like a blue or gray color of the lips, nails, or skin; a heartbeat that does not feel normal; seizures; very bad dizziness or passing out; very bad headache; feeling very sleepy; feeling tired or weak; or shortness of breath. This effect is rare but may be deadly if it happens.
  • Signs of too much acid in the blood (acidosis) like confusion; fast breathing; fast heartbeat; a heartbeat that does not feel normal; very bad stomach pain, upset stomach, or throwing up; feeling very sleepy; shortness of breath; or feeling very tired or weak.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • A fast heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Blurred eyesight.
  • Seizures.
  • Numbness and tingling.
  • Fast breathing.
  • Shortness of breath.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Dizziness.
  • Flushing.
  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Belly pain.
  • Bad taste in your mouth.
  • Anxiety.
  • Sweating a lot.
  • Feeling tired or weak.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to sodium nitrite: compounding powder, intravenous solution


Frequency not reported: Hypotension, tachycardia, palpitations, dysrhythmia, severe hypotension, cyanosis, vasodilation resulting in syncope


Frequency not reported: Urticaria, diaphoresis


Frequency not reported: Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain


Frequency not reported: Methemoglobinemia


Frequency not reported: Injection site tingling


Frequency not reported: Acidosis

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Syncope, headache, dizziness, seizures, confusion, coma, lightheadedness, generalized numbness and tingling


Frequency not reported: Anxiety


Frequency not reported: Tachypnea, dyspnea


Frequency not reported: Fatigue, weakness, death


Frequency not reported: Blurred vision

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Sodium Nitrite