Aug 10, 2023

Nitrous Oxide therapy: applications through the centuries

Nitrous Oxide was first discovered in 1772 by English chemist Joseph Priestley, but the effects were discovered in subsequent decades and even centuries. Thanks to the development of science and medical equipment, today nitrous oxide is widely known not only for its ‘laughing gas’ characteristic, but for analgesic and sedative functions.
Nitrous Oxide therapy: applications through the centuries

Looking back in history, after discovering nitrous oxide, the first medical device to administrate it was developed by James Watt, a world-known engineer from Scotland. Then, in 1800 Davy Humphrey released a book ‘Researches, Chemical and Philosophical, chiefly concerning Nitrous Oxide, or Dephlogisticated nitrous air, and its Respiration’ where he reported his experiments with nitrous oxide and supposed that pain-reducing effect may be helpful for surgery. In the 1840s medical public saw several demonstrations of the medical use of nitrous oxide for dentistry, where the gas showed great potential even though the first operations had no success. Being more studied and recognized, inhaled nitrous oxide became a popular method for dental anaesthesia in the second part of the 19th century and for labour analgesia since the 1930s.

At room temperature conditions, nitrous oxide is a colorless gas with a slightly sweet taste and scent. Nitrous oxide therapy enables safety – when prescribed and operated by a trained professional, rapid onset of action takes several minutes and has a short recovery time compared to other sedation methods.

Today nitrous oxide is used in many healthcare fields, helping to facilitate the condition of patients, both adults and children. During the procedure, a person stays conscious and retains the ability to respond verbally.


Nitrous oxide benefits those who suffer from anxiety and have a phobia of dental treatment. It is also a solution for patients with special healthcare conditions and who can’t stand local anesthesia. Nitrous oxide inhalation works as an analgesic agent and sedative tool, contributing to relaxation for people of all ages while a doctor can complete the treatment.

Labour analgesia

Nitrous oxide is used by practitioners for the delicate process of childbirth, starting from the contractions phase. It doesn’t relieve the pain completely but helps diminish its force and decrease anxiety. It doesn’t limit the mobility and goes out of the organism right after the procedure.

Emergency Department

Nitrous oxide is also used for emergency purposes, where the question of pain reduction is essential. Even though additional analgesics are still in use in some cases, nitrous oxide therapy significantly decreases different types of pain: abdominal, chest, traumatic pain, headache, wounds, etc.


Nitrous oxide therapy shows the potential for reducing of depression which millions of people face every year. The studies show that the treatment is effective as the gas helps to relax and feel calm after the procedure of inhalation. Even though the psychotherapeutic action of nitrous oxide is still being studied, it has already become a helpful assistant on the way to remission of depression.

Rotarex medical solutions for Nitrous oxide therapy

The gas is administered through an inhalation mask or a nasal hood connected to a delivery system that combines nitrous oxide with oxygen in controlled amounts.

Rotarex MediTec is performing two solutions for N20/02 therapy which can be connected to the gas cylinder:

Medical gas standard valve with pressure regulator M7303 ALPINOX

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The Alpinox medical gas pressure regulator reduces the pressure and allows an easy setting of the gas flow. The gas flow stays uninterrupted even when changing the flow setting. Its modern design with plastic cover makes it ergonomic, easily cleanable, and fully shock resistant.

VIPR (valve with integrated pressure regulator) M706

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The flagman product of Rotarex MediTec is VIPR M706. It is an all-in-one solution that combines a shut-off valve, residual pressure device, pressure regulator, flow selector, hose barb, medical outlet, and filling port in one device.


A significant advantage of Rotarex MediTec gas solutions for nitrous oxide therapy is a high-quality level which enables the products' long lifetime. Reliable materials and components resist an extremely cold gas produced during pressure regulation.

Rotarex MediTec gas equipment has been performed worldwide for many years. Medical gas products are designed and manufactured following the requirements of medical device regulation, proven by international certifications.

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Contact: Mathieu Chatelet, Senior Sales Manager MediTec

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