VX Chemical formula

Chemical information

Methylphosphonothioic acid S-{2-[bis(1-methylethyl)amino]ethyl} O-ethyl ester.
Chemical formula: C11H26NO2PS = 267.4.
CAS — 50782-69-9.


The nerve agents, sarin, soman, tabun, and VX (also referred to as ‘nerve gases’) used in chemical warfare are extremely potent inhibitors of cholinesterase. The effects of poisoning due to these agents, and their treatment, are similar to those for organophosphorus insecticides but as the nerve agents have a much greater intrinsic toxicity the symptoms of poisoning are more severe. Pyridostigmine has been given prophylactically to personnel at risk from exposure to nerve agents.
1. Ministry of Defence. Medical manual of defence against chemical agents. London: HMSO, 1987. (JSP312
2. World MJ. Toxic gas trauma. Lancet 1995; 346: 260–1
3. Nozaki H, et al. A case of VX poisoning and the difference from sarin. Lancet 1995; 346: 698–9
4. Okumura T, et al. Report on 640 victims of the Tokyo subway sarin attack. Ann Emerg Med 1996; 28: 129–35
5. Suzuki J, et al. Eighteen cases exposed to sarin in Matsumoto, Japan. Intern Med 1997; 36: 466–70
6. Holstege CP, et al. Chemical warfare: nerve agent poisoning. Crit Care Clin 1997; 13: 923–42
7. United States Army. Medical Management of Chemical Casualties Handbook, 3rd ed. Aberdeen, Maryland: Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense; 1999. Also available at: http://www.brooksidepress.org/Products/OperationalMedicine/ DATA/operationalmed/Manuals/RedHandbook/001TitlePage.htm (accessed 24/07/08
8. Weinbroum AA, et al. Anaesthesia and critical care considerations in nerve agent warfare trauma casualties. Resuscitation 2000; 47: 113–23
9. Anonymous. Prevention and treatment of injury from chemical warfare agents. Med Lett Drugs Ther 2002; 44: 1–3
10. Janowsky DS. Central anticholinergics to treat nerve-agent poisoning. Lancet 2002; 359: 265–6
11. Anonymous. Nerve agents. J R Army Med Corps 2002; 148: 344–57
12. Lee EC. Clinical manifestations of sarin nerve gas exposure. JAMA 2003; 290: 659–62
13. Rotenberg JS, Newmark J. Nerve agent attacks on children: diagnosis and management. Pediatrics 2003; 112: 648–58
14. Newmark J. The birth of nerve agent warfare: lessons from Syed Abbas Foroutan. Neurology 2004; 62: 1590–6.
Published May 08, 2019.