Author: Sam Killian, MD
- Abuse occurs by breathing in volatile substances such as solvents, glues, paints, butane, and propane
- Inhalants are generally depressants
- Estimated that 100-125 people die every year in the US from acute inhalant abuse.
- Short-term effects include memory impairment, slurred speech, diplopia, seizures, and cardiac arrhythmias
- Long term effects include renal dysfunction, neuropathy, blindness and cognitive blunting
- Evaluation includes a detailed lung exam, cardiac monitoring, and assessments of oxygenation and renal function
- Treatment is generally supportive.
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Howard MO, Bowen SE, Garland EL, Perron BE, Vaughn MG. Inhalant use and inhalant use disorders in the United States. Addict Sci Clin Pract.2011 Jul;6(1):18-31. Review. PubMed PMID: 22003419; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3188822.
Summarized by Will Dewispelaere, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD