June 24, 2021
- Consumers who purchase or use nitrite “poppers” for recreational use or sexual enhancement.
- “Poppers” are sold online or at adult novelty stores. They are often marketed as nail polish removers or cleaning products and are packaged in small bottles, ranging from 10 to 40 mL, appearing similar to energy shots.
- Brand names include Jungle Juice, Extreme Formula, HardWare, Quick Silver, Super RUSH, Super RUSH Nail Polish Remover and Premium Ironhorse, among others.
The FDA advises consumers not to purchase or use nitrite “poppers” because these products can result in serious adverse health effects, including death, when ingested or inhaled. “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.
Summary of Problem and Scope
The FDA has observed an 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.”
The FDA 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.
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.
To report a complaint or adverse event (illness or injury), you can
- Call an FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator if you wish to speak directly to a person about your problem.
- Complete an electronic Voluntary MedWatch form online.
- Complete a paper Voluntary MedWatch form that can be mailed to FDA.
Reporting Problems to the FDA
Consumers who have experienced an adverse event (illness or injury) after using nitrite “poppers” should consult their healthcare providers. Consumers should also consider reporting 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. The FDA encourages consumers with questions about product safety to submit an inquiry or to visit www.fda.gov/fcic for additional information.