Amyl Nitrite

Also called amyl, buzz, nitro, poppers, rush

Understanding Amyl Nitrite

Amyl Nitrite is a depressant drug which means that it slows down and interferes with the functioning of the brain and the body. Amyl Nitrite is from a group of drugs known as ‘nitrates’ which also includes butyl nitrite, isobutyl nitrite and nitro-glycerine. 

Amyl Nitrite may be prescribed by medical practitioners for some cardiac issues. 

What does it look like?
  • Liquid (when sold illegally)
How is it used?
  • Inhaled

People who swallow amyl nitrite are at significant risk of harm including death. 

What are the possible short-term effects?

People may use amyl nitrite to induce feelings of euphoria, or to enhance a sexual experience. Other short-term effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nose bleeds
  • Headaches
  • Facial flushing
  • Respiratory problems
  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Warm sensations
  • Decreased muscle control
  • Visual distortions
  • Involuntary urination

Amyl nitrite affects people differently depending on a range of factors including how much is consumed, whether it is used with other drugs, and the individual characteristics of the person. It is important to know that there is no safe level of use.

Some people are at increased risk of harm including people who are anaemic, pregnant, have high blood pressure, and have a head injury or brain haemorrhage.

What are the possible long-term effects?
  • Skin lesions
  • Irritations around the nose, mouth, lips and face
  • Respiratory problem
What are the signs of an amyl nitrite problem?
  • Spending a great deal of time getting, using, or recovering from the effects 
  • Using in greater amounts, or for longer than originally planned
  • Needing to use more to get the same effect
  • Having cravings, difficulties stopping/reducing use
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
  • Social problems including relationship issues, financial problems, impacts on study or work and legal problems
Thinking about cutting back or stopping?

Sometimes it can take a few attempts to cut back or stop.

  • Focus on the reasons for cutting down or stopping
  • Avoid ‘triggers’ (i.e. things associated with using such as places, people and stressful situations)
  • Ask a friend, family member or health professional for support
Amyl nitrite use and pregnancy

It is not recommended that people use amyl nitrite while pregnant or breastfeeding as it can reduce the flow of blood and oxygen to the baby. People who are concerned about their amyl nitrite use while pregnant or breastfeeding should to talk to their doctor or health professional for advice.

What help is available?

Adis 24/7 Alcohol and Drug Support is a 24 hour, 7 day a week confidential support service for people in Queensland with alcohol and other drug concerns, their loved ones and health professionals. 

Talk to us. Anytime, anywhere.

1800 177 833

What should I do in an emergency?

People who swallow amyl nitrite are at a significant risk of harm including burns to the face, skin and eyes, and can be fatal. If someone swallows amyl nitrite, has collapsed or lost consciousness, call an ambulance on triple zero (000).  If they have stopped breathing commence CPR.  If they are breathing normally, place them into the recovery position.


Understanding Amyl Nitrite

Amyl nitrite is from a group of drugs known as ‘nitrates’ which also includes butyl nitrite, isobutyl nitrite and nitro-glycerine.

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