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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Nitro patches/ drug addicts

02/20/2008

Question:

At the facility I work at we have had a number of Nitro- glycerin patches that have been stolen after used by a resident. Are there any alternate uses by drug addicts for these patches that we need to be aware of?

Answer:

Thanks for your note. I am note aware of an illicit or street use of nitroglycerine patches, and have not heard of their diversion before. It certainly can cause some blood pressure fluctuations (though usually with associated headache in non-tolerant people). I have heard of adolescents, and even adults, on methadone maintenance abusing clonidine in order to become pre-syncopal ... misinterpreting the low blood pressure and light-headedness as an altered mental state! You might check with the NADDI (National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators) web site for other information.

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Response by:

Ted   Parran, MD Ted Parran, MD
Associate Professor of General Medical Sciences
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University