Agent Name

Sodium nitroprusside

CAS Number




Major Category

Other Uses


Sodium nitroprusside anhydrous; Disodium nitrosylpentacyanoferrate; Nitroprussidnatrium [German]; Sodium nitroferricyanide; Sodium nitroprussate; Sodium nitroprussiate; Sodium nitrosylpentacyanoferrate; Sodium nitrosylpentacyanoferrate (III); Disodium pentacyanonitrosylferrate; Ferrate(2-), pentacyanonitrosyl-, disodium; Ferrate(2-), pentakis(cyano-C)nitrosyl-, disodium, (OC-6-22)-; Ferrate(2-), pentakis(cyano-kappaC)nitrosyl-, disodium, (OC-6-22)-; Ferrate(2-), pentakis(cyano-kappaC)nitrosyl-, sodium (1:2), (OC-6-22)-; [ChemIDplus] Sodium (OC-6-22)-pentakis(cyano-kappaC)nitrosylferrate(2-) (2:1); [Merck Index] UN3288


Biochemical Research


Crystals; [Sigma-Aldrich MSDS]


Used as a reagent for the detection of many organic and inorganic compounds and as an antihypertensive drug; [Merck Index] Nitroprusside is used intravenously in hypertensive emergencies. Side effects include tachycardia, rebound hypertension, and thiocyanate toxicity in patients with renal disease. [Cecil, p. 388] "Cyanide released from NTP [nitroprusside] is detoxified by the enzyme-mediated transfer of sulfur from thiosulfate to cyanide. This irreversible reaction results in the synthesis of thiocyanate, which is then eliminated by the kidneys. . . . The amount of NTP that can be infused before the development of cyanide toxicity varies with the availability of thiosulfate stores. . . . Cyanide poisoning should be considered in any patient receiving NTP who develops cardiovascular instability of central nervous system abnormalities in the setting of an anion gap acidosis." [Ford, p. 407]


Effects from human intravenous administration include toxic psychosis, nausea or vomiting, metabolic acidosis, changes in cardiac rate, other cardiac changes, elevated blood pressure, regional or general arteriolar or venous dilation, changes in regional blood flow, convulsions, changes in pulse rate, hallucinations, and increased intracranial pressure; [RTECS] May cause irritation; Toxic by ingestion; May cause cyanosis; Targets the blood; [Sigma-Aldrich MSDS]

Exposure Assessment
Explanatory Notes

The Guide in the Emergency Response Guidebook is for "Toxic solid, inorganic, n.o.s."

Adverse Effects

Other CNS Neurotoxin

Links to Other NLM Databases
Toxicity Information


Chemical Information

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