Nitroprusside is administered in the hospital to patients whose blood pressure is dangerously high in order to help bring it down to tolerable levels. It is also administered to patients during surgery to control bleeding and may be used to help treat congestive heart failure.
This medication can cause severe drops in blood pressure. It should only be given in the hospital, where patients’ blood pressure levels can be continuously monitored, and should only be given to patients whose blood pressure is extremely high. It should not be used to treat moderately or slightly elevated blood pressure.
There is a risk of cyanide poisoning with this medication, especially in patients who have kidney problems. Doctors should not administer the medication too quickly and should not continue the medication for more than 10 minutes to minimize this risk.