What is the role of nitrous oxide in pediatric sedation?

Updated: May 08, 2018
  • Author: Wan-Tsu Wendy Chang, MD; Chief Editor: Ted Rosenkrantz, MD  more...
  • Print


Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide elicits anxiolysis, amnesia, and mild-to-moderate analgesia. However, its analgesic property is variable, typically requiring additional analgesic agents. [16] Nitrous oxide has little effect on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, with only minimal effect on the airway reflex. The peak onset of action occurs within 30-60 seconds, the maximum effect within 5 minutes. Effects are rapidly lost once inhalation ceases, and recovery occurs within 5 minutes.

A 1:1 mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide is administered as an inhalant via a handheld mask or mouthpiece. Typically, patients are to maintain the seal to ensure adequate inhalation; once sedation is approached, the patient will lose the seal and allow the mask or mouthpiece to fall.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!