Poppers

Epidemiology and Clinical Management of Inhaled Nitrite Abuse

Frank Romanelli, Kelly M. Smith, Alice C. Thornton, Claire Pomeroy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Commonly referred to as "poppers," inhaled nitrites have a long history of abuse. Poppers are rapid-onset, short-acting potent vasodilators that produce a rush characterized by warm sensations and feelings of dizziness. Poppers sometimes are used to facilitate anal intercourse because of their actions on the anal sphincter. Epidemiologically, the frequent use of nitrites by men who have sex with men has led some experts to implicate these chemicals in the pathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Controlled clinical trials to examine this potential correlation have not been conducted, and the use of nitrites simply may be a marker for other high-risk behaviors such as unprotected sex. Although regulated in the United States, many nitrite compounds and isomers are sold at various venues including bars, bookstores, and over the Internet. Adverse effects associated with these products vary from mild allergic reactions to life-threatening methemoglobinemia. The potential for drug-drug interactions and a propensity toward unsafe sex also exist. Clinicians should be familiar with the populations most likely to abuse these agents and with the clinical effects and management guidelines for acute ingestions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalPharmacotherapy
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2004

Fingerprint

Nitrites
Epidemiology
Unsafe Sex
Methemoglobinemia
Kaposi's Sarcoma
Controlled Clinical Trials
Anal Canal
Dizziness
Risk-Taking
Vasodilator Agents
Drug Interactions
Internet
Hypersensitivity
Emotions
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Eating
Guidelines
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Population

Keywords

  • Drug abuse
  • Inhaled nitrites
  • Poppers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Cite this

Romanelli, F., Smith, K. M., Thornton, A. C., & Pomeroy, C. (2004). Poppers: Epidemiology and Clinical Management of Inhaled Nitrite Abuse. Pharmacotherapy, 24(1), 69-78. https://doi.org/10.1592/phco.24.1.69.34801

Poppers : Epidemiology and Clinical Management of Inhaled Nitrite Abuse. / Romanelli, Frank; Smith, Kelly M.; Thornton, Alice C.; Pomeroy, Claire.

In: Pharmacotherapy, Vol. 24, No. 1, 01.2004, p. 69-78.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Romanelli, F, Smith, KM, Thornton, AC & Pomeroy, C 2004, 'Poppers: Epidemiology and Clinical Management of Inhaled Nitrite Abuse', Pharmacotherapy, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 69-78. https://doi.org/10.1592/phco.24.1.69.34801
Romanelli, Frank ; Smith, Kelly M. ; Thornton, Alice C. ; Pomeroy, Claire. / Poppers : Epidemiology and Clinical Management of Inhaled Nitrite Abuse. In: Pharmacotherapy. 2004 ; Vol. 24, No. 1. pp. 69-78.
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