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Laughing gas: 10 times more serious neurological and cardiovascular effects since 2019


Cases of serious neurological and cardiovascular damage due to the inhalation of nitrous oxide, nicknamed “proto” or “laughing gas”, are more and more numerous, warns theFrench Association of Addictovigilance Centers in a press release published on June 23, 2022.

The number of cases assessed by the addictovigilance network has multiplied by 10 since 2019 and the number of serious cases is also increasing.

These cases concern patients with an average age of 22, of whom approximately 10% are minors.

The consumption of bottles / carboys which contain the equivalent of several tens, even several hundred cartridges, replaced those of metal cartridges which were found on the public highway, mentions the press release.

These consumptions are daily in almost half of the cases and can reach several tens of bottles per day.

The serious or worrying clinical consequences have diversified: in 2021, use disorders (addiction) and/or consumption of high and/or daily doses are present in nearly 90% of addictovigilance cases. Beyond use disorders, anxious, mood and psychotic psychiatric symptoms and behavioral disorders are also reported.»

In 2019, the French Association of Addictovigilance Centers already warned in a press release about the increase in neurological complications; in 2021, they remain the most reported, present in 80% of cases. The number of cases of damage diagnosed as central (spinal) or peripheral (neuropathy) has tripled between 2020 and 2021. (Laughing gas: increase in serious neurological disorders [2019])

The consequences, in particular of sensory-motor deficits (sensitivity, gait and strength disorders, incontinence) in young subjects requiring long and difficult rehabilitation can, in the absence of identification and management early and adapted loading, be the cause of sequelae and potentially of persistent handicap.

In addition, new serious complications, particularly cardiovascular, are observed with several cases of thrombotic effects reported (acute coronary syndrome, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis) often favored by hyperhomocysteinemia secondary to a vitamin B12 disorder induced by protoxide. nitrogen. »

The French Association of Addictovigilance Centers wishes to raise awareness in the circles affected by this phenomenon.

Psychomedia with source: French Association of Addictovigilance Centers.
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