↑ Return to Inhalants

Print this Page

Nitrous Oxide

Classification: Gas anesthetic

Commercial Names: Entonox, Nitronox

Common Names/Nicknames: Laughing gas, nos, nox, whippet, bullets, climax

Active Compound: Nitrous oxide

Found in: Nitrous oxide-containing compounds

Mode of Consumption: Inhalation

DEA Scheduling/Legal Status (in US): Unscheduled, illegal to use for recreational drug purposes


Relaxation, giddiness, skin sensitivity, loss of coordination, anesthesia


Headache, dizziness, impaired judgment, freezeburn, neuropathy, permanent nerve damage, permanent lung damage, permanent brain damage, hypoxia, death by suffocation

Dangerous Drug Combinations: 

Potentially fatal combination with alcohol, ketamine, and other N-methyl-D-asparatic acid (NMDA) antagonistic anesthetics.

Special Considerations:

Nitrous oxide must be mixed with oxygen before inhaled or can potentially cause hypoxic fatality.

Not to be confused with nitric oxide, an extremely toxic gas.

« Inhalants


And remember, if somebody may need help, play it safe and call for medical assistance.

“Students may bring an intoxicated or drug-impaired friend to University Health Services or to a hospital, or seek assistance from College residential life staff or HUPD, and by doing this, neither they nor the friend will face disciplinary action from the College for having used or provided alcohol or drugs.”

                                                                                    The Amnesty Policy

                                                                                    Harvard College Student Handbook



Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy (Third Edition), by Cynthia Kuhn, Scott Swartzwelder, and Wilkie Wilson. Published 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company.


National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), part of the U.S. Department of Justice.



Erowid Organization


Permanent link to this article: http://www.harvarddapa.org/resources/drug-ipedia/inhalants/nitrous-oxide/