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MEDICAL HELIUM

Active substance(s): HELIUM

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Medical Helium
Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start to use this medicine.




Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
If you have further questions, please ask your doctor or your pharmacist.
This medicine has been prescribed for you personally and you should not pass it
on to others. It may harm them, even if their symptoms are the same as yours.

In this leaflet:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

What Medical Helium is and what it is used for.
Before you use Medical Helium
How to use Medical Helium
Possible side effects.
Storing Medical Helium

The name of your medicine is Medical Helium. Medical Helium is supplied as a pure gas
containing only helium. It does not contain any other ingredients.

1.

What is Medical Helium and what it is used for.

Medical Helium is an inhalation gas (a gas that is breathed in). It is colourless and
odourless. It is supplied as a pressurised gas in a gas cylinder with a valve to control the
outflow of the gas.
It prevents your lungs from collapsing and helps oxygen go into your lungs if
obstructions develop.
It is used when you are not getting enough oxygen into your blood due to blockages in
your lungs. Helium prevents your lungs from collapsing, should you have respiratory
disease, chest wounds or rib fractures.
It may also be used to test how well you are breathing.

2.

Before you use Medical Helium

Do not smoke or allow those near you to smoke during treatment with Medical Helium.
Do not allow naked flames near you when you are using Medical Helium
Helium should never be given with less than 21% oxygen and it should never be inhaled
on its own.
Medical Helium does not interact with any other types of medicines you may be taking
and will not be affected by any food or drink.

Pregnancy
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.
Medical Helium can be used if you are pregnant.

Breast-feeding
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.
Medical Helium can be used if you are breast- feeding.

Driving and using machines.
The use of Medical Helium will not affect your ability to drive or operate machinery.

Using other medicines.
Interactions with other medicines are unlikely when Medical Helium is used as directed.
Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, or have recently taken any
other medicine – even those not prescribed.

3.

How to use Medical Helium

Always follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. Do not stop treatment or
change your treatment without consulting your doctor first.
You will normally use Medical Helium by breathing the gas in through a face mask.
Only use the equipment supplied to you for use with your Medical Helium.
All equipment used with the Medical Helium should be kept clean and dry. Do not use oil
or grease on any equipment that is used with Medical Helium.
Your doctor or nurse will decide how much Medical Helium you need.
You must always breathe in at least 21% oxygen with the Medical Helium.
Your doctor will tell you how long your treatment with Medical Helium will last.

If you forgot to use Medical Helium.
Take your Medical Helium as soon as you remember, do not take a double dose to make
up for the forgotten treatment.

If you use more Medical Helium than you should:
If you breathe in more than 79% helium you may begin to suffocate, and will experience
difficulties breathing, feel tired and sick, you may vomit, your hands and feet may go
blue and you may lose consciousness. You could eventually die.
You should stop treatment for a while, and these effects will wear off. You can then start
therapy again if it is necessary.

4. Possible side effects
Like all medicines Medical Helium can have side effects.
After treatment you may notice a change in the pitch of your voice. This occurs because
helium allows sound to travel differently than it does in air. The effect is short-lived and
harmless.
If you notice any side effects not mentioned in this leaflet please inform your doctor or
your pharmacist.

5.

Storage of Medical Helium



Keep Medical Helium out of the reach and sight of children.
Do not smoke where Medical Helium is stored.

Medical Helium containers should be stored:
• in a well ventilated place,
• under cover
• kept clean and dry.
• where they will not be exposed to extremes of temperature.
Return any used cylinders to Air Liquide.

Use by date
Do not use Medical Helium after the expiry date on the label.

The Marketing Authorisation Holder for Medical Helium is Air Liquide
Limited, Station Road, Coleshill, Birmingham, West Midlands, B46 1JY
Medical Helium is manufactured by Air Liquide in the UK.

This leaflet was last approved on 11/2008.

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Source: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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