The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning advising consumers not to purchase or use nitrite “poppers” after an observed increase in reports of deaths and hospitalizations with issues such as severe headaches, dizziness, increase in body temperature, difficulty breathing, extreme drops in blood pressure, blood oxygen issues (methemoglobinemia) and brain death after ingestion or inhalation of nitrite “poppers.”
“‘Poppers,’ which are sold online or at adult novelty stores, may be marketed as nail polish removers but are being ingested or inhaled for recreational use or to enhance sexual experiences. These products contain nitrites, which are chemical substances that should not be ingested or inhaled unless specified/prescribed by a healthcare provider.”
“Brand names include Jungle Juice, Extreme Formula, HardWare, Quick Silver, Super RUSH, Super RUSH Nail Polish Remover and Premium Ironhorse, among others.”
While poppers were banned in Canada in 2013 and nearly banned in the U.K. in 2016, they remain legal in the U.S. The FDA says it will continue tracking reports of adverse events resulting from the ingestion or inhalation of nitrite “poppers” and will take appropriate actions to protect the public health. The agency also has contacted its federal partners alerting them of the recent adverse event reports.
Consumers who have experienced an adverse event (illness or injury) after using nitrite “poppers” should consult their healthcare providers. Consumers should also report their adverse events to MedWatch: FDA’s Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program and information about the products they used to Reporting Unlawful Sales of Medical Products on the Internet | FDA.
Recommendations for Consumers
- Do not purchase or use nitrite “poppers” for recreational use or sexual enhancement.
- Be aware of the serious risks, including death, associated with the use of these products and stop using them immediately. Discard any unused product.
- Contact your healthcare providers immediately if you are experiencing illness after using these products.
- Contact your healthcare providers if you have recently used these products and are concerned about your health.