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Active substance(s): NITROUS OXIDE

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PL 15929/0004 – October 2013 – revised

Medical Nitrous Oxide
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:

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

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


What is Medical Nitrous Oxide and what it is used for?

Medical Nitrous Oxide 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 is used as an anaesthetic during surgery and is used to relieve pain when rapid-onset
powerful short-term relief of severe pain is needed.
It has anaesthetic effects and can make you relax and send you to sleep. It can also relieve
pain by acting on chemical messengers within your body which send messages to the
brain when you are injured.


Before you use Medical Nitrous Oxide

Do not smoke or allow those near you to smoke during treatment with Medical Nitrous
Oxide. Nitrous Oxide helps things burn.
Do not allow naked flames near you when you are using Medical Nitrous Oxide
If you suffer from any medical complaint where air is trapped within your body and it
might be dangerous for this air to expand or if you are taking strong drugs to make you
very sleepy you should not take Medical Nitrous Oxide. Please consult your doctor.
If you have received an injection of gas into your eyes (intraocular injections) within
the last 3 months, please consult your doctor.

PL 15929/0004 – October 2013 – revised

If you have had epidural anaesthesia you may not be able to use Medical Nitrous Oxide.
Please tell your doctor before starting Medical Nitrous Oxide treatment.

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

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

Driving and using machines.
Do not drive or operate heavy machinery whilst taking Medical Nitrous Oxide.

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


How to use Medical Nitrous Oxide

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 Nitrous Oxide by breathing the gas in through a mask.
Only use the equipment supplied to you for use with your Medical Nitrous Oxide
All equipment used with the Medical Nitrous Oxide should be kept clean and dry. Do not
use oil or grease on any equipment that is used with Medical Nitrous Oxide.
Your doctor or nurse will decide how much Nitrous Oxide you need.
You must always use at least 21% oxygen with nitrous oxide.

PL 15929/0004 – October 2013 – revised

If you are at altitude, you should use at least 30% oxygen with nitrous oxide.
If you use Medical Nitrous Oxide for more than 24 hours, or if you use the gas more
frequently than every four days, your doctor will take blood tests to check your red and
white blood cells.
You must always use the cylinder upright with the valve at the top. Although Medical
Nitrous Oxide is gas when it comes out of the cylinder, inside it is liquid. If you use the
cylinder on its side this liquid may come out and it may cause burns if in contact with
your skin.
Also, you must always open the valve slowly as rapid opening may cause the escaping
gas to become liquid again and cause burns if in contact with your skin.
Your doctor will tell you how long your treatment with Medical Nitrous Oxide will last.

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

If you use more Medical Nitrous Oxide than you should:
If you may have used more Medical Nitrous Oxide than you should, you will become
increasingly light-headed, feel drunk and then become unconscious. If you continue to
breathe in too much nitrous oxide you could die.
You must stop taking nitrous oxide and go out in the fresh air.
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation may be needed and, sometimes, you may be given oxygen.


Possible side effects

Like all medicines Medical Nitrous Oxide can have side effects.
Some people (about 15%) may feel sick or vomit after receiving Medical Nitrous Oxide.
If you take Medical Nitrous Oxide for a long time you may have ear damage or bowel
If there is extensive use of Medical Nitrous Oxide over a long time, there may be bone
marrow changes and also nerve damage but these effects are very rarely seen.
If you notice any side effects not mentioned in this leaflet please inform your doctor or
your pharmacist.

PL 15929/0004 – October 2013 – revised

Storage of Medical Nitrous Oxide


The colour of Medical Nitrous Oxide cylinders in the UK is in a period of change.
The colour coding of the shoulder of Medical Nitrous Oxide is blue. The body of the
cylinder will be either blue or white.
The aim is to complete a period of change over from the blue body to the white bodied
cylinder. The shoulder colour of the cylinder will remain as blue. This period of change
will be completed by January 1st 2026

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

Medical Nitrous Oxide 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 Nitrous Oxide after the expiry date on the label.

The Marketing Authorisation Holder for Medical Nitrous Oxide is Air

Liquide Limited, Station Road, Coleshill, Birmingham, West Midlands, B46 1JY
Medical Nitrous Oxide is manufactured by Air Liquide in the UK.

Date of revision: 10th October 2013

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