Effects of Nitrous Oxide

Effects of Nitrous oxide

Applies to nitric oxide: inhalation gas

As well as its needed effects, nitric oxide may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking nitric oxide, check with your doctor or nurse immediately:

More common
  • Blurred vision
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • sweating
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
  • Chest discomfort
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • dizziness
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble breathing

Some nitric oxide side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

Incidence not known

For Healthcare Professionals

Hematologic

Hematologic side effects including methemoglobinemia (which increases with the dose of nitric oxide) have been reported. Elevated NO2 levels have also been reported.

In one study 35% of neonates treated with nitrous oxide 80 ppm had methemoglobin levels exceeding 7%. Following discontinuation or reduction of nitric oxide the methemoglobin levels returned to baseline over a period of hours.

Cardiovascular

Cardiovascular side effects including hypotension (13%) have been reported.

Other

Other side effects including withdrawal (12%), sepsis (7%), infection (6%), and cellulitis (5%) have been reported. Accidental exposure of hospital staff to nitric oxide has been associated with chest discomfort, dizziness, dry throat, dyspnea, and headache.

Respiratory

Respiratory side effects including atelectasis (9%) and stridor (5%) have been reported.

Renal

Renal side effects including hematuria (8%) have been reported.

Metabolic

Metabolic side effects including hyperglycemia (8%) have been reported.

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