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    Poppers are nitrite-containing liquids, which are inhaled for their aphrodisiac and hallucinogenic effects. Despite some cases of severe poisonings, poppers are often perceived as harmless by consumers. Inhalation and ingestion of poppers are well known, but, according to our literature review, intravenous abuse has not been reported before. A 34-year-old man injected poppers intravenously for recreational purposes. He then suffered from dyspnoea and general discomfort. Upon arrival of emergency medical services, the patient was dyspnoeic with blue-grey skin colour and oxygen saturation was 82% on ambient air. Non-invasive ventilation was necessary, and he was transferred to the intensive care unit. Toluidine blue was administered because of a methaemoglobinaemia of 40% and methaemoglobin levels dropped to 0.4%. He was discharged home after a 24-hour observation. We additionally analysed the contents of the poppers bottle: isopropyl nitrite, isopropanol and acetone were detected. Possible complications and the treatment regarding intravenous administration of poppers are discussed. We present the first published case of intravenous poppers abuse. Our patient suffered from methaemoglobinaemia and was rapidly discharged after treatment with toluidine blue. No specific treatment regarding the contents of the poppers bottle, apart from isopropyl nitrite, was necessary. © Royal College of Physicians 2020. All rights reserved.


    Alexander Reisinger, Susanne Vogt, Anna Essl, Ines Rauch, Florian Bangerl, Philipp Eller, Gerald Hackl. Lessons of the month 3: Intravenous poppers abuse: case report, management and possible complications. Clinical medicine (London, England). 2020 Mar;20(2):221-223

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    PMID: 32188665

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