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 Should I drive after receiving nitrous oxide?
- Q How soon after taking nitrous oxide will I feel its effects?
- Q Does nitrous oxide interact with other medications or foods?
- Q What should I avoid while using nitrous oxide?
- Q How should I take nitrous oxide?
- Q Is the use of nitrous oxide safe for pregnant women?