Sodium Nitrite/Sodium Thiosulfate

Sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate are medications that can be injected for several reasons. The most common reason to use this medication is to reverse the effects of cyanide poisoning and save the victim’s life. These medications may also be able to help improve blood flow in people with sickle cell anemia or repair damaged blood vessels in people with heart disease; these uses are experimental.

Side Effects/Warnings

This medication can cause severely low blood pressure and low methemoglobin formation. If this occurs, the blood cells won’t be able to get enough oxygen and the patient may die. Patients who are given this antidote to cyanide poisoning must be monitored carefully for signs of oxygen deprivation. Patients who have a history of respiratory illnesses such as asthma or emphysema should not be given this medication unless no suitable alternative exists. In addition, patients should not be given this medication unless doctors are completely certain that they are suffering from cyanide poisoning.

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