Poppers is another name for alkyl nitrites, usually amyl nitrite, which has been used to help people with angina (heart problems) since inhaling it widens the blood vessels quickly. Today, amyl nitrite is no longer used in Swedish health care, but people still use poppers to intensify feelings on the dance floor or during sex. When you inhale poppers, some types of muscles relax, which makes the blood vessels widen, and your blood pressure drops quickly. Some feel that this makes anal penetration easier, because it relaxes the inner sphincter and parts of the vagina. Your heart also beats faster, and your brain gets more oxygen-rich blood, which leads to a high that lasts for a few minutes. Some people feel euphoria, and can have more intense orgasms. Poppers are classed as a medical product in Sweden, which means that the Medicinal Products Act has rules for selling and importing and so on.

It is very dangerous, possibly fatal, to combine poppers with Viagra or other drugs that help with potency. You should not use poppers if you have heart problems or low blood pressure, if you faint easily or if you take medicine to lower your blood pressure. Never ever drink poppers, and do not let it touch your skin. 

Side effects

Common side effects when using poppers are headaches and getting dizzy. Some people lose their erection. If you use poppers for a long time and let it touch your skin, the membranes inside your nose get damaged. You can also suffer chemical burns in and around your nose.


Have you thought about drinking less alcohol, taking less drugs, or stopping completely? Are you using a medicine in a destructive way? Are you worried that a friend is drinking too much?

Sometimes it is a good idea to talk to a professional who can give advice and support. Read more about Alcohol and drug counseling here.

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