Amyl Nitrite-Induced Hemolytic Anemia: Acute Therapy and Prevention

Cureus. 2021 Jul 1;13(7):e16099. doi: 10.7759/cureus.16099. eCollection 2021 Jul.


Inhaled nitrites have been a substance of recreational use for centuries, primarily among men who have sex with men (MSM). However, there is a lack of awareness of the use of inhaled nitrites in this population and the possible complications and health disparities it carries. In this case report, we present a 62-year-old man with a past medical history of glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency presenting with severe hemolytic anemia and methemoglobinemia after recreational use of inhaled nitrites. The case was complicated with the presence of methemoglobinemia in a patient with G6PD deficiency. This report also aims to increase awareness of the use of nitrites in the MSM population. The use of nitrites is a predictor for high-risk sexual behavior and is associated with positive human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status.

Keywords: acute hemolytic anemia; inhaled nitrites; methemoglobinemia; msm; provider awareness; substance recreational use.

Publication types

  • Case Reports