Poisonings from volatile nitrites (aka amyl, poppers) are increasing, this seminar will look at the reasons why and data sources needed.
Alkyl nitrite inhalants are commonly used recreational drugs, particularly among LGBTIQ+ communities to facilitate receptive anal intercourse. Harms are difficult to evaluate due to non-specific coding terminology, combining all volatile inhalants together. Narrative review of Australian Poisons Information Centre case consultations; NSW Public Health Rapid, Emergency, Disease and Syndromic Surveillance system and the National Coronial Information System allow new insights into harms. Patterns of use can be evaluated through some Australian drug use surveys such as Ecstasy and Related Drug Reporting System and the Big Day Out Study.
We hypothesise products available more recently are more: pure, toxic nitrites, poorly packaged/labelled; or the users are now inexperienced and at higher risk of toxicity due to incorrect use. A vigorous debate has been stimulated by this data, led by the Therapeutic Goods Administration considering education, rescheduling, changes in packaging and labelling.
Mr Jared Brown, NSW Poisons Information Centre
Jared Brown is Co-Head of the NSW Poisons Information Centre, based at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, and a Scientia PhD Scholar in the Medicines Policy Research Unit of the Centre for Big Data Research in Health at UNSW Sydney. His research is focussed on toxicovigilance, particularly supplementing epidemiological studies of coded administrative datasets with qualitative case review of other routinely collected datasets such as Poisons Information Centre, NSW Health emergency presentations and the National Coronial Information System. He works closely with regulatory and injury prevention stakeholders in evaluating and recommending actions from research findings on pharmaceuticals and other products into policy and practice. Recent advocacy includes methotrexate daily dosing errors, risk factors for button battery ingestions and incorrect use resulting in toxicity from alkyl nitrites. Recently he was the first pharmacist from a Poisons Information Centre to sit on the Commonwealth Department of Health’s Advisory Committee on Chemicals Scheduling and awarded as an Advanced Practice Pharmacist in Clinical Toxicology and Fellow of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia. He has a keen interest in the growth of clinical research pharmacists as a clinical lecturer at The University of Sydney and is the inaugural Treasurer of Toxicology and Poisons Network Australasia.