Pharm 101: Nitrous Oxide


Inhaled anaesthetic

  • Incomplete gaseous inhaled anaesthetic
    • Have high vapour pressures and low boiling points
    • Gas form at room temperature
  • Minimal Alveolar Concentration (MAC) > 100%
    • MAC is the anaesthetic concentration that produces immobility in 50% of patients exposed to a noxious stimulus
  • Mechanism of action not fully understood, thought to potentiate GABA-A receptors
  • Absorption through gas exchange in alveoli
  • Not metabolised
  • Low solubility, reaches high arterial tension rapidly
    • Low Blood:Gas partition coefficient 0.47
  • Rapid equilibrium in brain and fast onset of action
    • Rapid onset and recovery
Organ system effects
  • CNS:
    • Analgesia
    • Euphoria
    • Increased cerebral blood flow and ICP
  • CVS:
    • Dose-dependent myocardial depression
    • Preserved CO due to simultaneous sympathetic nervous system activation
  • Respiratory:
    • Bronchodilation
  • Renal:
    • Reduction in both GFR and renal blood flow, overall increase in filtration fraction

Pharmacology 101

Top 200 drugs

MBBS (UWA) CCPU (RCE, Biliary, DVT, E-FAST, AAA) Adult/Paediatric Emergency Medicine Advanced Trainee in Melbourne, Australia. Special interests in diagnostic and procedural ultrasound, medical education, and ECG interpretation. Editor-in-chief of the LITFL ECG Library. Twitter: @rob_buttner

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.