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Amyl Nitrite


Amyl nitrite is known as a rapidly acting vasodilator. The drug is administered to the patient by inhalation. The medication is available in a glass capsule and the capsule is crushed between the fingers. Amyl nitrite is yellowish in color and it has a sweet smell. The medication is volatile at low temperatures also and is flammable as well.


The medication is used for the relaxation of muscles, especially the vascular smooth muscle. The effect in the muscle is felt due to coronary vasodialtion and a decrease in the vascular resistance. Amyl nitrite also helps the formation of methemoglobin. The vapors absorbed by the patient rapidly move through the pulmonary alveoli and the effects are almost immediate. This is because the drug metabolizes rapidly due to hydrolytic denitration. The patient
normally passes one third of the inhaled drug through his urine.


The drug is generally used for treatment of cyanide poisoning in the patient.

Dosage Indications

The patient has to be in a seated position while taking the drug. The capsule containing Amyl nitrite is crushed between the fingers and then the contents are inhaled by the patient. The inhalation is done between 30 seconds and two minutes. A fresh capsule should be broken until the first signs of recovery are seen. Up to eight capsules are broken if there is delay in administering the intravenous antidotes.


Amyl nitrite is to be used with extreme care in patients who are suffering from disorders such as glaucoma, head trauma or hemorrhage. Also consult your doctor immediately if you are pregnant as the medication can be fatal to the unborn child. It can also reduce blood pressure and impair blood flow to the placenta.

Warnings and Precautions

Use the medication with extreme care as it can trigger weakness, dizziness and hypertension after it is inhaled. However repeated use of the drug will increase the tolerance of the patient towards the drug. Also proper precautions should be taken if you are breastfeeding your baby as the contents of the drug may pass through breast milk to the baby. Also the drug is often abused for enhancing sexual; performance and sexual stimulation. Prolonged use of the drug may lead to adverse side effects like dizziness, flushing of the face, cold sweat and involuntary passing of urine. Hence it is better to take this medication only under the proper
observation of the doctor.


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