Decrease of beta-endorphin in the brain of rats
following nitrous oxide withdrawal

Dzoljic MR, Haffmans J, Rupreht J,
Adolfs MJ, Dzoljic MM, Cappendijk SL.
Department of Pharmacology,
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences,
Erasmus University, Rotterdam,
The Netherlands.
Drug Metabol Drug Interact. 1991;9(2):139-48


Beta-Endorphin levels in the whole rat brain were not changed during acute (25 min) or chronic (48 h) exposure of rats to N2O. However, a significant decrease of beta-endorphin was found in the whole brain, brain stem and subcortex during the withdrawal from chronic exposure to N2O. It has been suggested that decrease of beta-endorphin levels during N2O withdrawal could be ascribed to unspecific stress accompanying drug withdrawal. Decrease of central beta-endorphin during N2O withdrawal might have a significant modulatory effect on transmitter balance, neuronal excitability and corresponding withdrawal behaviour. Furthermore, the decrease of beta-endorphin levels in the whole brain during N2O withdrawal might contribute to the postanaesthesia N2O-excitatory syndrome in humans. This might explain the known therapeutic effect of the opioid drug, meperidine on the excitatory N2O withdrawal phenomena during recovery from N2O anaesthesia in man.
Nitrous oxide
Obstetric anesthesia
Inhaled anaesthetics
Nitrous oxide inhalation
Nitrous oxide anaesthesia
Nitrous oxide / opioid release
The nitrous oxide philosopher

and further reading
Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World