Clinical Uses

Sodium nitroprusside is used in the management of hypertensive crisis. Although it is effective in every form of hypertension because of its relatively favorable effect on cardiac performance, sodium nitroprusside has special importance in the treatment of severe hypertension with acute myocardial infarction or left ventricular failure. Because the drug reduces preload (by venodila-tion) and afterload (by arteriolar dilation), it improves ventricular performance and in fact is sometimes used in patients with refractory heart failure, even in the absence of hypertension.

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