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April 1970


Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

Arch Ophthalmol. 1970;83(4):527. doi:10.1001/archopht.1970.00990030527022

To the Editor.  —The pharmacologic properties of amyl nitrite are well known: it acts specifically as a smooth muscle relaxant and vasodilator.1 Side effects of its use include dizziness, headache, pain localized about the eyes, and transient elevation of intraocular pressure. Unlike drugs such as atropine or other belladonna-like agents which may precipitate an attack of acute angle-closure glaucoma, amyl nitrite does not pose this threat.We wish, however, to draw the attention of ophthalmologists to a new fad involving the use of amyl nitrite by teen-agers and young adults to enhance and prolong the sexual experience.2 Ampules are crushed and their contents inhaled immediately before sexual climax. There appears to be a timeexpanding effect, possibly related to transient cerebral ischemia, which gives the user the illusion that orgasm lasts for an extended period of time. The use of amyl nitrite for enhancement of sexual pleasure may lead