Drug information of Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide

Drug group:

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as "laughing gas", is a chemical compound with the chemical formula N2O. At room temperature, it is a colorless non-flammable gas, with a pleasant, slightly sweet odor and taste. It is used in surgery and dentistry for its anesthetic and analgesic effects.

Mechanism of effect

Findings to date indicate that nitrous oxide induces opioid peptide release in the brain stem leading to the activation of descending noradrenergic neurones, which results in modulation of the nociceptive process in the spinal cord. Several receptor–effector mechanisms including dopamine receptors, α2 adrenoceptors, benzodiazepine receptors and -methyl- -aspartate (NMDA) receptors have been implicated although the relationship of one with the other is not known.


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Drug indications

Analgesic Activity


Nitrous oxide is a weak general anesthetic and is generally not used alone. It may be used in general anesthesia in a 70% concentration (in combination with 30% oxygen) or as a carrier gas with more potent general anesthetic agents.

Drug contraindications

pregnancy , intestinal obstruction , nasal stuffiness

conditions related to vitamin B12 deficiency, history of stroke, hypotension, who have had eye surgery that uses an intraocular gas, pulmonary blebs, air embolism and those undergoing surgery of the middle ear, respiratory compromise

Side effects

vomiting , malaise


Administration of Nitrous Oxide may be hazardous or contraindicated. For use only by or under the supervision of a licensed practitioner who is experienced in the use and administration of Nitrous Oxide and is familiar with the indications, effects, dosages, methods, and frequency and duration of administration, and with the hazards, contraindications and side effects and precautions to be taken.

Points of recommendation


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