Amyl nitrite

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Amyl Nitrite Chemical Structure


Amyl Nitrite

IUPAC name:

3-methyl-1-nitrosooxy-butane

CAS number
463-04-7
ATC code
V03AB22
Chemical formula C5H11NO2
Molecular weight 117.15
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The chemical compound amyl nitrite (or isoamyl nitrite) is an Alkyl nitrite. It has a characteristic penetrating odour, and produces marked effects on the human body when its vapour is inhaled. It acts as a vasodilator (expanding blood vessels and thus lowering blood pressure) and finds applications in medicine in the treatment of heart disease such as angina. Amyl nitrite is also used to treat cyanide poisoning. It induces the formation methemoglobin which binds cyanide into non-toxic cyanmethemoglobin. When used recreationally, it is often called a popper. See the article nitrite inhalants for more information on its recreational use. The effects of amyl nitrite are thought to be due to the action of nitric oxide in the body.

Physical effects include headache, flushing of the face, decrease in blood pressure, increase in pulse, dizziness and relaxation of involuntary muscles, especially the blood vessel walls and the anal sphincter. There are no withdrawal symptoms. Overdose symptoms include nausea, vomiting, badly decreased blood pressure and respiration, fainting, cold skin and possible circulatory collapse and death.

The name "Amyl nitrate" is commonly mistaken for amyl nitrite; they are two different chemicals.

Chemistry

Amyl nitrite is a yellow-coloured liquid of specific gravity 0.877, boiling at about 95 to 96 degrees Celsius. It is insoluble in water, but dissolves readily in alcohol, ether, glacial acetic acid, chloroform, and benzene. It is prepared by passing nitrous fumes (from starch and concentrated nitric acid) into warm isoamyl alcohol, or by distilling a mixture of 26 parts of potassium nitrite in 15 parts of water with 30 parts of isoamyl alcohol in 30 parts of sulfuric acid. On heating with methyl alcohol, it is converted into isoamyl alcohol and methyl nitrite; a similar reaction takes place with ethyl alcohol, but the change is less complete. It is readily decomposed by nascent hydrogen, with the formation of ammonia and isoamyl alcohol; and on hydrolysis with caustic potash it forms potassium nitrite and isoamyl alcohol. When the liquid is dropped onto fused caustic potash, it forms potassium valerate.

Other synonyms for amyl nitrite include:

  • Pentyl Alcohol Nitrite
  • Nitrous acid, pentyl ester
  • n-amyl nitrite
  • nitramyl

See Also

Template:Alkyl nitritesde:Amylnitrit
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