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After an increase in reports of deaths and hospitalizations with issues such as severe headaches, breathing difficulties and brain death, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised consumers not to purchase nitrate “poppers”.

In an extraordinary warning, one that has already been made by many other country’s drug bodies, an alert has been sent out by the FDA to warn those wanting to use nitrite “poppers” for recreational use or sexual enhancement that you must stop using them immediately.

“The FDA has observed an increase in reports of deaths and hospitalizations with issues such as severe headaches, dizziness, increase in body temperature, difficulty breathing, extreme drops in blood pressure, blood oxygen issues (methemoglobinemia) and brain death after ingestion or inhalation of nitrite “poppers”,” the statement announced


““Poppers,” which are sold online or at adult novelty stores, may be marketed as nail polish removers but are being ingested or inhaled for recreational use or to enhance sexual experiences.

“These products contain nitrites, which are chemical substances that should not be ingested or inhaled unless specified/prescribed by a healthcare provider.”

The FDA said they will continue to track reports of adverse events resulting from the ingestion or inhalation of nitrite “poppers” and will take appropriate actions to protect the public health.

The agency also has contacted its federal partners alerting them of the recent adverse event reports.

Poppers are legal in Australia but can only be purchased as a schedule 3 substance from pharmacies, or a schedule 4 substance with a prescription. The same in New Zealand where all amyl and alkyl nitrate products are now scheduled as a prescription-only medication.

Since 2007, reformulated poppers containing isopropyl nitrite are sold in Europe; isobutyl nitrite is prohibited.

Health Canada has banned all distribution and sales of poppers since 2013.

Last Updated on Jul 13, 2021

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