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In general

Poppers contain Amyl Nitrite, Butyle Nitrite or Isoamyl Nitrite. It is a yellowish liquid in small bottles. Poppers are inflammable, evaporate quickly and have a very bad smell. The liquid is directly inhaled by smelling the bottle. It can also be dripped on a piece of cloth and then breathed in. As it may burn the skin, it should not be spilled onto or come into contact with the skin or mucous membranes.

Physical effects

Decrease of blood pressure, increase of heart rate, hot feeling, loose muscles. 

Psychological effects

Sexual arousal, feeling horny and intoxicated, relaxation.

Sex work

Poppers taken during sex have a relaxing effect and intensify it. The intoxication is short-lived and the user feels intensely horny during a few minutes. The (smooth) muscles and blood vessels loosen up. The same applies to the sphincter, so it facilitates anal sex. Poppers intensify the arousal and the result is a strong erection, which is prolonged.


Poppers together with other drugs may cause fainting and heart problems. Poppers decrease the blood pressure so a combination of drugs can cause dizziness and fainting. Especially together with erection pills poppers are risky. Both substances decrease the blood pressure. Heart problems or blood circulation disorders in the kidneys may occur.

Short-term risks

Dizziness, unconsciousness, fainting, anaemia, splitting headaches, serious skin troubles, nausea, palpitations.

Long-term risks

Eye problems, damaged blood vessels, brain damage, damage to the immune system.

Safe(r) use

  • Be careful when you inhale poppers. They may burn the skin so we strongly advise against contact with skin, eyes, mucous membranes (e.g. of the nose).
  • Never take poppers together with erection pills. Each substance on its own decreases the blood pressure substantially.
  • Be careful of burning cigarettes, lighters or candles. Poppers are highly flammable.
  • Poppers are sexually stimulating and facilitate anal sex, so it may cause you to push your limits. Prevent unsafe sex and use condoms and sufficient lubricant.

Health and Social Support Services for Sex Workers in Europe

www.services4sexworkers.eu is a website that presents a directory of services available for sex workers in 25 European countries, and legal information regarding sex work, migration and access to health.

An European network of 26 organisations in 25 EU countries, which works with and for sex workers since 1993, and advocates for sex workers' rights.

www.services4sexworkers.eu informs sex workers, health and social workers about respectful and non-discriminatory support available across Europe.


"Before I start working and using I always eat something. That way I have more energy and I can my focus."