Fatal methemoglobinemia resulting from ingestion of isobutyl nitrite, a "room odorizer" widely used for recreational purposes

J Forensic Sci. 1981 Jul;26(3):587-93.


The alkyl nitrites, specifically isobutyl nitrite, have taken a prominent place among those substances enjoying widespread recreational use, primarily in discotheques and in any toxicologically verified deaths, the chemical may cause fatal toxic methemoglobinemia if ingested. A case with a fatal outcome is presented, and the chemistry and toxicology of the substance are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methemoglobinemia / etiology*
  • Methemoglobinemia / pathology
  • Nitrites / adverse effects*
  • Substance-Related Disorders*


  • Nitrites
  • isobutyl nitrite