Nitrous oxide, when given by a healthcare professional, rarely has any bothersome side effects. Aside from irritating the throat and lungs, nitrous oxide can cause nosebleeds, coughing spells or inflammation to the breathing passages. However, if it is being abused, nitrous oxide can cause people to be physically uncoordinated and unable to function mentally. In high doses, nitrous oxide can cause hallucination, confusion and paranoia. It also can cause asphyxiation, decreased consciousness, coma or even death, especially when combined with alcohol or barbiturates, such as sleeping pills. Long-term effects of nitrous oxide abuse can cause impared memory, severe mood swings, seizures, tremors, arrhythmias of the heart and possible respiratory depression.
- Q How is nitrous oxide used in dental procedures?
- Q Who should not receive nitrous oxide?
- Q Should I get nitrous oxide during dental treatments?
- Q What happens if I miss a dose of nitrous oxide?
- Q What should I know about nitrous oxide before taking it?
- Q Who should receive nitrous oxide?