|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2013)|
|Systematic (IUPAC) name|
|Pregnancy cat.||C (US)|
|Legal status||℞ Prescription only|
|Bioavailability||10–90%, average 25%|
|ATC code||C01 C05|
|Mol. mass||236.136 g/mol|
|(what is this?)|
Isosorbide dinitrate or ISDN for short is a nitrate used pharmacologically as a vasodilator, e.g. in angina pectoris but also for anal fissure, a condition which is known to involve decreased blood supply leading to poor healing. It is also used as a direct vasodilator to treat congestive heart failure.
Isosorbide dinitrate is sold in the USA under the brand names Dilatrate-SR by Schwarz and Isordil by Valeant, according to FDA Orange Book. In the United Kingdom, Argentina and Hong Kong, a trade name of it is Isoket. It is also a component of BiDil®.
It is more useful in preventing angina attacks than reversing them once they have commenced. It may be given as a tablet for the treatment of an angina attack.
Long acting nitrates can be more useful as they are generally more effective and stable in the short term.
After long term use for treating chronic conditions, tolerance may develop in a patient reducing its effectiveness. The mechanisms of nitrate tolerance have been thoroughly investigated in the last 30 years and several hypotheses have been proposed. These include:
- Impaired biotransformation of ISDN to its active principle NO (or a NO-related species)
- Neurohormonal activation, causing sympathetic activation and release of vasoconstrictors such as endothelin and angiotensin II which counteract the vasodilation induced by ISDN
- Plasma volume expansion
- The oxidative stress hypothesis (proposed by Munzel et al. in 1995).
Recent evidence suggests that the last hypothesis might represent a unifying hypothesis, and an ISDN-induced inappropriate production of oxygen free radicals might induce a number of abnormalities which include the ones described above. Furthermore, studies have shown that nitrate tolerance is associated with vascular abnormalities which have the potential to worsen patients prognosis (Nakamura et al.): these include endothelial and autonomic dysfunction (Gori et al.). In the short run, ISDN can cause severe headaches, necessitating analgesic (very rarely up to morphine) administration for relief of pain as well as severe hypotension, and, in certain cases, bradycardia. This makes some physicians nervous and should prompt caution when starting nitrate administration.