Methemoglobinemia from Sniffing Butyl Nitrite

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Abstract

Butyl nitrite has become popular in the drug culture as an aphrodisiac (1, 2). Amyl nitrite has been used for such purposes for several years (3), but its availability is legally restricted. The butyl congener, on the other hand, is sold over the counter. Although it is marketed as a “room odorizer,” butyl nitrite enthusiasts achieve stimulation by sniffing the compound directly from the bottle, in the manner of amyl nitrite “poppers.”

Although the physiologic effects of amyl nitrite are generally understood (4), little is known about the effects of butyl nitrite. However, we have recently studied this problem in

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