Update on nitrous oxide and its use in anesthesia practice

Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol. 2018 Jun;32(2):113-123. doi: 10.1016/j.bpa.2018.06.003. Epub 2018 Jul 2.


Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an anesthetic and analgesic gas with a long history of medical applications. It acts on multiple supraspinal and spinal targets and has utility in a wide range of clinical situations. The relative safety, low incidence, and acuity of adverse effects of N2O, along with the ability to be administered by trained medical providers with varying clinical backgrounds, as well as self-administered by patients, assure its persistent and expanding role in clinical practice.

Keywords: adverse effects; general anesthesia; labor analgesia; nitrous oxide.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia / methods*
  • Anesthesia / trends
  • Anesthesiology / methods
  • Anesthesiology / trends
  • Anesthetics, Inhalation / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor Pain / diagnosis
  • Labor Pain / drug therapy
  • Nitrous Oxide / administration & dosage*
  • Pregnancy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods


  • Anesthetics, Inhalation
  • Nitrous Oxide