Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Sorbidin.
It does not contain all of the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have benefits and risks. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking Sorbidin against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with your medicine. You may need to read it again.
What Sorbidin is used for
Sorbidin is used to prevent angina. It is not for the relief of a sudden attack of angina.
Angina is a pain or uncomfortable feeling in the chest, often spreading to the arms or neck, and sometimes to the shoulders and back. This may be caused by too little blood and oxygen getting to the heart. The pain of angina is usually brought on by exercise or stress.
Sorbidin may also be used in the management of some types of heart failure.
Sorbidin belongs to a group of medicines called nitrates. These medicines work by widening blood vessels and thus allowing more blood and oxygen to reach the heart.
Your doctor may have prescribed Sorbidin for another reason. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Sorbidin has been prescribed for you.
Sorbidin is not recommended for use in children, as there have been no studies of its effects in children.
Before you take Sorbidin
When you must not take it
Do not take Sorbidin if you are allergic to medicines containing isosorbide dinitrate, any other nitrate or nitrite drug, or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips or tongue which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing, wheezing or shortness of breath.
Do not take Sorbidin if you have:
recently had a heart attack
extremely low blood pressure
certain other heart conditions
increased pressure in the head from any cause, including stroke, tumour, head injury
severe anaemia (lack of red blood cells).
Do not take Sorbidin if you are taking sildenafil (Viagra), a medicine used to treat impotence in men.
Taking these two medicines together may cause your blood pressure to drop to a dangerously low level.
Do not take Sorbidin to relieve a sudden attack of angina.
Sorbidin is only for the prevention of angina.
Do not take Sorbidin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Your doctor will discuss with you the risks and benefits involved.
Do not take Sorbidin if the expiry date (Exp.) printed on the pack has passed.
Do not take Sorbidin if the packaging shows signs of tampering or the tablets do not look quite right.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives.
Tell your doctor if you have, or have had, any medical conditions, especially the following:
recent heart attack or stroke
low blood pressure
blood disorders such as anaemia
blood vessel disorders such as hardening of the arteries
glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase defiency
Your doctor may want to take special care if you have any of these conditions.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you start taking Sorbidin.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may be affected by Sorbidin, or may affect how well it works. These include:
medicines used to treat high blood pressure and other heart conditions
phenothiazines, a group of medicines used to treat some mental conditions
tricyclic antidepressants, a group of medicines used to treat depression
medicines used to relieve stomach cramps and to prevent travel sickness
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), medicines used to relieve pain, swelling and other symptoms of inflammation, including arthritis
Your doctor can tell you what to do if you are taking any of these medicines.
If you are not sure whether you are taking any of these medicines, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking Sorbidin.
How to take Sorbidin
How much to take
The dose varies from patient to patient.
Elderly patients may need smaller doses.
Angina: The usual dose is 10 mg (one tablet) four times a day.
Your doctor may advise you to take a different dose. This depends on your condition and whether or not you are taking any other medicines. Heart Failure: Your doctor will tell you how many tablets you need to take each day and when to take them. Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully.
How to take Sorbidin
Swallow the tablets with a glass of water.
When to take Sorbidin
Take Sorbidin on a regular basis to help reduce the number of angina attacks.
Sorbidin should not be taken for immediate relief of an angina attack.
Have an 8 hour (minimum) nitrate-free period once every 24 hours.
For example, take your last evening dose then wait 8 hours before taking your next dose in the morning. This nitrate-free period is important to prevent tolerance and may help Sorbidin to work better.
Sorbidin can be taken with or without food.
If you forget to take Sorbidin
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to.
Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your tablets as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose you missed.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
How long to take Sorbidin for
To properly control your angina, Sorbidin must be taken every day on a long-term basis. Try not to miss any doses and take Sorbidin even if you feel well.
Keep taking Sorbidin for as long as your doctor recommends.
If you do not follow your doctor's instructions, you may not get relief from your angina.
If you take too much Sorbidin (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor, or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26), or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think you or anyone else may have taken too much Sorbidin. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
You may need urgent medical attention.
If you take too much Sorbidin, you may feel dizzy, lightheaded, have a headache and a very fast heart beat.
While you are taking Sorbidin
Things you must do
Tell your doctor if you continue to have angina attacks or if they become more frequent while you are using Sorbidin.
Before starting any new medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking Sorbidin.
Tell all the doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Sorbidin.
If you become pregnant while taking Sorbidin, tell your doctor.
If you plan to have surgery, including dental surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking Sorbidin.
Visit your doctor regularly so they can check on your progress.
Things you must not do
Do not take Sorbidin to relieve an angina attack that has already started.
This medicine will not relieve a sudden attack of angina. Your doctor will have prescribed a spray or other tablets to use under the tongue when you get an angina attack. Do not stop taking Sorbidin, or lower the dose, without checking with your doctor or pharmacist.
Stopping Sorbidin suddenly may cause you to have angina attacks more often. Your doctor will gradually reduce the amount of Sorbidin you are taking over a period of two weeks before stopping completely.
Do not let yourself run out of Sorbidin.
If you do run out, Sorbidin can be purchased from a pharmacy without a prescription.
Do not use Sorbidin to treat any other conditions unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not give Sorbidin to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Sorbidin affects you.
Sorbidin may cause dizziness or lightheadedness in some people. If any of these occur, do not drive, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous.
Be careful getting up from a sitting or lying position.
Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting may occur, especially when you get up quickly. Getting up slowly may help. The problem usually goes away after a few days, but if it gets worse or continues, talk to your doctor. Be careful when drinking alcohol while taking Sorbidin.
If you drink alcohol while using Sorbidin, your blood pressure may drop, making you feel dizzy or faint. Side effects Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Sorbidin.
Like all other medicines, Sorbidin may have unwanted side effects in some people. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
If you are over 65 years of age, you may have an increased chance of getting side effects.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects.
You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
dizziness, lightheadedness, feeling faint.
These are the more common yet mild side effects. These effects are usually temporary. Pain relievers such as paracetamol are recommended to relieve headaches.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
flushing of the face
swelling of the ankles, feet or hands
skin rash, flaking of the skin
nausea or vomiting
signs of anaemia such as tiredness, being short of breath and looking pale
severe or persistent headache.
These are less common but may require medical attention.
Tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:
severe dizziness or fainting (low blood pressure)
a very slow or fast heart beat.
These reactions can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. Tell your doctor if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell.
After taking Sorbidin
Keep Sorbidin where children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
Keep your tablets in the bottle until it is time to take them.
If you take the tablets out of the bottle they may not keep well.
Keep your tablets in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30 °C.
Do not store Sorbidin or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink.
Do not leave Sorbidin in the car or on window sills.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking Sorbidin, or your tablets have passed their expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any that are left over.
What it looks like
Sorbidin is a round white tablet marked IS/10 on one side and a on the other.
Each pack contains 100 tablets.
The active ingredient in Sorbidin is isosorbide dinitrate. Each Sorbidin tablet contains 10 mg of isosorbide dinitrate.
The tablets also contain:
starch - pregelatinised maize
cellulose - microcrystalline
The tablets are gluten free.
Sorbidin is made in Australia by:
Alphapharm Pty Limited
(ABN 93 002 359 739)
Chase Building 2
Wentworth Park Road
Glebe NSW 2037
Phone: (02) 9298 3999
Phone: 1800 028 365
Australian registration number:
Sorbidin - Aust R 46043
This leaflet was prepared on
26 February 2001.