In England and Wales, there have been 25 drug-related deaths mentioning alkyl nitrates (more commonly known as poppers). 14 of which since 1995 have been directly caused through the use of the substance.
Poppers belong to a group of chemicals known as alkyl nitrites. Specific alkyl nitrites include butyl nitrite, isopropyl nitrite, isobutyl nitrite and amyl nitrite and they work by dilating blood vessels, allowing more blood to get to the heart. Although poppers are very prevalent in some walks of life; most notably the gay community and rave scenes, they aren’t without risks, and these risks can be amplified when used alongside certain other substances.
Firstly, poppers are a vasodilator which is described as a widening of the veins and blood vessels which results from the relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls. For this reason, you should not use poppers at all if you have heart or blood pressure problems.
As a whole, Poppers are generally safe to use, although they can cause death if swallowed. We have, however, created an infographic highlighting the effects of poppers on your body and some of the potential risks associated with using poppers.
Poppers are used mainly in the pursuit of a more enjoyable sexual experience, but the biggest risks regarding poppers appear when using alongside other substances. For example, if you mixed poppers with other drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, MDNA the oxygen supply to your vital organs might be affected, which could cause a coma or even death. The same applies when using poppers alongside any medication or substances that alter your blood pressure, such as erectile dysfunction medication. For this reason, at Assured Pharmacy we wanted to bring attention to this matter for the safety of our customers and promote healthy, safe sex.
We conducted a study on the use of poppers and some of the personal experiences we received from users who have used poppers alongside other substances speak for themselves.
I fainted once and have felt light headed at times
Flashing lights, induces migraine attack
Have done it many times without any bad effects but once I must have overdone it and passed out in a darkroom. I came round to find I was outside in the street with a doorman and no recollection of how I got there. I was absolutely fine as soon as I came round again.
Passed out, fell hitting my head paramedics called it was quite the scene. Paramedics didn’ know what poppers were had to explain, sure they know now.
The hard banging feeling in my chest and feeling light headed and dizzy
And many more responses included feelings of faintness, dizziness, and headaches.
Poppers are not an addictive substance but are easy to indulge in more than planned. Although relatively safe when used alone, keep in mind the effects that can appear when used irresponsibly.