Nitrogen

(BAN, USAN, rINN)

💊 Chemical information

Azot; Azotas; Azote; Dusík; E941; Kvävgas; Nitrogén; Nitrogenium; Nitrógeno; Nitrogenum; Stickstoff; Typpi.
Chemical formula: N2 = 28.0134.
CAS — 7727-37-9.
ATC — V03AN04.
ATC Vet — QV03AN04.

Pharmacopoeias.

In Eur. and Jpn. Also in USNF.

Ph. Eur. 6.2 (Nitrogen). The monograph applies to nitrogen for medicinal use. A colourless, odourless gas. Soluble 1 in about 62 of water and 1 in about 10 of alcohol by volume at 20° and at a pressure of 101 kpA. Store as a compressed gas or a liquid in appropriate containers. The BP 2008 directs that nitrogen should be kept in approved metal cylinders, the shoulders of which are painted black and the remainder grey. The cylinder should carry a label stating ‘Nitrogen’.

Ph. Eur. 6.2 (Nitrogen, Low-oxygen). The monograph applies to nitrogen used in the production of an inert atmosphere for finished medicinal products that are particularly sensitive to degradation by oxygen. A colourless, odourless gas. Soluble 1 in about 62 of water and 1 in about 10 of alcohol by volume at 20° and at a pressure of 101 kpA. Store as a compressed gas or a liquid in appropriate containers.

USNF 26 (Nitrogen). A colourless, odourless, tasteless gas. It is non-flammable and does not support combustion. Soluble 1 in about 65 of water v/v and 1 in about 9 of alcohol v/v at 20° and at a pressure of 760 mmHg. Store in cylinders.

USNF 26 (Nitrogen 97 Percent). It contains not less than 97% v/v of nitrogen. Store in cylinders or in a low-pressure collecting tank.

💊 Adverse Effects

Nitrogen narcosis has been reported after use of nitrogen at high pressure as in deep-water diving. Under high pressure, nitrogen dissolves in blood and lipid. If decompression is too rapid, nitrogen effervesces from body stores producing gas emboli and leads to the syndrome of decompression sickness. Skin contact with liquid nitrogen causes frostbite or burns.
1. Roblin P, et al. Liquid nitrogen injury: a case report. Burns 1997; 23: 638–40
2. Kernbach-Wighton G, et al. Clinical and morphological aspects of death due to liquid nitrogen. Int J Legal Med 1998; 111: 191–5
3. Koplewitz BZ, et al. Gastric perforation attributable to liquid nitrogen ingestion. Pediatrics 2000; 105: 121–3
4. Kim DH, Lee HJ. Evaporated liquid nitrogen-induced asphyxia: a case report. J Korean Med Sci 2008; 23: 163–5.

💊 Uses and Administration

Nitrogen is used as a diluent for pure oxygen or other active gases and as an inert gas to replace air in containers holding oxidisable substances. Liquid nitrogen is used as a cryotherapeutic agent for the removal of warts and for preservation of tissues and organisms.
Published October 29, 2018.