The Food and Drugs Authority has cautioned the public against the abuse of nitrous gas popularly known as laughing gas.
According to the public notice issued on Tuesday, January 24, the FDA highlighted the dangerous effects of the misuse of laughing gas.
“The Authority hereby cautions the public that the misuse of Nitrous Oxide gas is extremely hazardous and includes risks of low blood pressure, heart attack and anaemia. Abusers of Nitrous Oxide gas are also prone to the risk of suffocating and loss of consciousness Long term recreational use (abuse) of Nitrous Oxide gas is extremely hazardous and includes risks of low blood pressure heart attack and anaemia Abusers of Nitrous Oxide gas are also prone to the risk of suffocating and loss of consciousness,” the statement said.
The FDA also warned nightclubs, pubs, and party organizers to cease the using nitrous oxide gas improperly at their facilities.
The Authority aslo advised the general public to report any instances of abuse to the Authority so that action may be taken.
“The Authority is collaborating with other relevant stakeholder agencies to address the emerging safety concerns. In the meantime, the FDA assures the public of its commitment in ensuring public health and safety through continuous public education, engagement and sensitization of the public on the risks of substances of abuse,” the statement added.
Nitrous gas is a chemical compound, an oxide of nitrogen with the formula N2O.
Due to its anesthetic and pain-relieving properties, nitrous oxide is widely used in medicine, particularly in surgery and dentistry.
Humphry Davy came up with the term “laughing gas” to describe it because it causes euphoria when inhaled, which has led to its use as a dissociative anesthetic for amusement. It is included in the WHO’s list of essential medications.
Nitrous gas has some side effects such as fever, chills, hives, wheezing, difficulty breathing, fatigue, dizziness, and nausea.
Story by: Aba Adadziewaa Addison | univers.ug.edu.gh