ALKYL NITRITES: 7 Powerful Precautions!




Alkyl nitrites, also called poppers, is a psychoactive drug.

They have a molecular structure as R-ONO. The most common of them is amyl nitrate. Room deodorizer, liquid gold, heart medicine, butyl nitrate are other common names of poppers. 

It was first launched in the 1960s when these were sold in capsules popped to release chemicals.


Use of Alkyl Nitrites

  • It is used to treat cyanide poisoning, relieve chest pain, relax the muscle, and relax narrowed blood vessels. 
  • It also lowers the harm caused by the sexual practice.
  • Poppers are also used as recreational drugs. It can be used as a supplement to other drugs—for example, acid or ecstasy.
  • It is used to treat heart disease.
  • It is also used as a cleaning substance in the household as well as industrial.

Effects of Alkyl Nitrites

It works very quickly, maybe in minutes or even in seconds. Thus produces high sensations of shakiness. It enters our bloodstream via the throat, mouth, or lungs and can make the skin flush. It also magnifies sexual feelings.

It is used to smooth the path of sex as it relaxes the anus and vagina muscle. Poppers prevent erection in some men.

This drug also causes headaches, nausea, and dizziness.

It works as dilating blood vessels, thus reduces the blood pressure rapidly. It can also cause a lack of consciousness or muscle strength.

It also causes increased heartbeat. This might cause Tachycardia.

Side effects of Alkyl Nitrites

Alkyl Nitriteshave many side effects. Some are listed below:

  • Irritation around lips, nose, mouth, and face.
  • Causes Sinusitis
  • Allergy
  • Headache
  • Can cause chemical burns
  • Highly flammable

Physiological effects of Alkyl Nitrite

It is a powerful vasodilator.It can be used during cardiovascular stress.

They are also the source of nitric oxide, which relaxes involuntary muscles. There are no symptoms in case of withdrawal. It can give you the experience of synesthesia.

It also involves life-threatening toxicity. 

Forms of Alkyl Nitrites

It mostly comes in small bottles in liquid form. It can evaporate in the air if the bottle left opened at room temp. These are sold under labeled as room deodorants, as it is illegal to sell them as a drug.

It can cause a rash around the nose or lips if smelled directly from the bottle. It is observed that some people use a cigarette to smell this drug. Throw away the cigarette if you did this, as it makes the cigarette highly flammable. 

Some people use cotton to smell this drug or transfer the liquid to another bottle to inhale it. Try avoiding doing this, as it can cause accidental death. 


Mechanism of Alkyl Nitrite

It is beingprepared by reaction of nitrous acid with an alcohol. 

The chemical reaction used here is listed below:


Where R = alkyl group.

This reaction is also called esterification. The process is very easi=y and can be attained in home laboratories also. The very commons steps are

Add sulfuric acid (concentrated) to a cooled mixture of sodium nitrite and alcohol.

Isoamyl Nitrite decomposes to form isoamyl alcohol, as the reaction given below: 

C5H11ONO + NaOH C5H11OH + NaNO2

Alkyl Nitrite is also beneficial in Sandmeyer Reaction. 

Precautions with Alkyl Nitrite

  • Always consult your doctor before taking this drug.
  • To minimize the possibility of dizziness, avoid physical activity. 
  • If you are taking this for a long time or at high doses, consult your doctor for the results. 
  • Do not use this near fine or smoking as it is highly flammable.
  • Do not take this if you are pregnant or harm the pregnancy. 
  • Breathe this drug through the nose only.
  • Finally, do not use it apart from prescribed by the doctor.

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