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Amyl nitrate is a popular type of nitrate which was used as a reagent in organic synthesis. This nitrate’s molecule is composed of 5 carbon amyl group attached to a nitrate functional group. It is the ester of amyl alcohol and nitric acid. Amyl Nitrate was initially manufactured as a pharmaceutical drug used for treating of Angina. Angina is a heart condition that occurs when the blood supply to the muscles of the heart is restricted. However, other drugs that were more effective were introduced for the condition and its medical use has now become quite rare.
How amyl nitrate works
Amyl Nitrate relaxes the blood vessels walls, which causes the dilation (expansion) of these vessels resulting in lowered blood pressure. This is why the drug was created as treatment for Angina which was caused by the constriction of blood vessels around the heart. This expansion in blood vessels caused by amyl nitrate causes a corresponding increase in heart beat rate as the body tries to restore the blood pressure to its normal level.
The applications of amyl nitrate
Amyl nitrate is widely used chemical and has a diverse range of uses. Some of the uses of amyl nitrate include:
· Angina treatment
As amyl nitrate caused the dilation (expansion) of human blood vessels resulting in lowered blood pressure and Angina was a condition caused by the constriction of blood vessels around the heart. Amyl nitrate became perfect for the condition. The only problem is that amyl nitrate has very serious harmful effects; hence better drugs were created for this condition.
· Additive in Diesel fuel
Amyl nitrate is also used in the industrial production of diesel. It is used as an additive in diesel fuel, where it acts as an ignition improver. It does this by accelerating the ignition of fuel in the engine.
· Increase in sexual performance
This chemical was also used to increase sexual performance. However, this application was found to be very dangerous due to the harmful effects posed by amyl nitrate.
· Amyl nitrate is also used as a reagent in organic synthesis.
The Harmful effects of the Amyl Nitrate
The common use of amyl nitrate as a drug has been minimised due to the harmful effects of this chemical. Some of these harmful effects of this chemical include:
· Amyl Nitrate when inhaled can easily cause temporary, but acute Tachycardia ( also known as accelerated Heartbeat rate) which causes drowsiness and light headedness.
· It also known to increase the risk of suffering from cancer. The nitrate-ions that is generated by the Amyl Nitrate inhalation can also increase the production of nitrosamines in your body, which are carcinogens.
· Inhaling the amyl nitrate also can bring about Kaposi’s sarcoma. This is a condition of very low immunity, which is usually found in individuals who are suffering from HIV. This is because amyl nitrate inhalation can suppress your the immune system.
· Inhaling amyl-nitrate can also cause severe bronchitis and coughing. This is because inhaling amyl nitrate ions can cause the burning of the mucous membranes in the nose, throat and lungs.
· Amyl nitrate also cause the burning in the skin if allowed to come into contact with the skin.