Treatment of chronic lower extremity wound pain with nitroglycerin ointment

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2012 Nov-Dec;39(6):649-52. doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e3182712fd3.


Background: The pain associated with chronic lower extremity wounds is often a greater concern to the patient than the condition of the wounds themselves. Anecdotal references regarding the use of topical nitroglycerin ointment for lower extremity pain are frequently encountered when discussing treatment options with other wound care specialists but no specific dosing information was found after searching current literature.

Case description: Three men (aged 65-80 years) with peripheral vascular disease and lower extremity ulcers achieved pain relief and improved sleep patterns following treatment with nitroglycerin ointment applied below the knee of the affected limb.

Conclusion: Our limited experience suggests that the use of nitroglycerin ointment for lower extremity wound pain is safe and effective. Further studies are needed to evaluate this treatment for efficacy and effectiveness.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease
  • Comorbidity
  • Compression Bandages
  • Humans
  • Leg Ulcer / drug therapy*
  • Leg Ulcer / epidemiology
  • Leg Ulcer / nursing
  • Male
  • Nitroglycerin / administration & dosage*
  • Ointments
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Vasodilator Agents / administration & dosage*


  • Ointments
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Nitroglycerin