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The Use Of Laughing Gas for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Nitrous Oxide for Treatment-Resistant Depression

For a long time, doctors have been looking for treatment for different kinds of depression. Many people are having a difficult time adjusting to the changing economy. Seeing how mental health problems have spiked post-pandemic, it is important to deal with depression head-on. Research shows that the use of nitrous oxide and oxygen, also called laughing gas, improves symptoms of depression. 

There has been significant improvement in people who have treatment-resistant depression after inhaling laughing gas. When the patients breathe in the gas for an hour, the symptoms of depression rapidly improve. The treatment can be done two times, and the results will last for several weeks.    

A huge percentage of patients on antidepressant therapies do not respond to treatment. Therefore, it has become vital to find better solutions for depression. Many more people are also getting depressed because of the low quality of life they experience. With the rapid improvement in patients that use laughing gas, research shows that this substance might be one of the best ways to help people with severe and resistant depression, in addition to ketamine

Evidence that shows laughing gas helps with depression

A study conducted at the University of Chicago in the department of anesthesia and the department of anesthesiology at the Washington university school of medicine has found nitrous oxide to be useful in relieving symtoms of treatment-resistant depression. The study findings suggest that laughing gas is an effective antidepressant that improves symptoms within a few hours. 

The primary goal of many people in the world today is to live a fulfilling life. This is not easy with everything happening around, making people feel stressed.

The regular antidepressants that most people take affect the norepinephrine and serotonin receptors in the brain. They, however, take a longer time to improve the person's systems, which makes them less effective. Nitrous oxide reacts differently with the brain receptors and makes the improvements of the symptoms fast. 

Although some patients will have some side effects from using laughing gas for depression, they are mild, and the improvements are way better than regular drugs. The number of patients getting side effects is small with most of them experiencing just nausea. A lower dose is recommended, which is just a little above the dose that relieves depression.

Recently, a lot of patients using antidepressants say that, for the most part, the drugs aren't effective.  


The use of laughing gas or nitrous oxide shows promise in those with treatment-resistant depression. If the patients do not improve, they can also combine nitrous oxide and ketamine which is another anesthetic drug. 

Battling depression and it feels nothing is working? Or are you having problems getting help? We at Hopementalhealth, are always here for you. Take advantage of our Telehealth services now and speak with a mental health specialist from the comfort of your home. We can't wait to speak with you.

Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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