FDA: No Shortage of Nitrous Oxide for Medical Use

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The Food and Drug Administration said Jan. 5 that there is no shortage of nitrous oxide for medical use at this time.

The Association reached out to the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Drug Shortage Program following calls from several ADA member dentists and state dental societies regarding a potential national nitrous shortage.  

"The FDA Drug Shortage Staff has been monitoring the supply of nitrous oxide medical gas and at this time there is no shortage of medical gas for patient access," the agency said in an email.

Nitrous oxide was in the news last year following an August 2016 explosion at an AirGas plant in Cantonment, Florida. The plant, which remained closed as of December 2016, is a major supplier of nitrous oxide for both medical and food purposes. A spokesperson for the food company ConAgra, which uses nitrous oxide in the production of Reddi-Wip, said it expects to resume full production in February but stressed right now, medical use is being prioritized over food.

If a dental office is unable to order nitrous oxide from your usual vendor, the ADA urges you to contact others. Additionally, the FDA encourages you to report it by emailing the agency at drugshortages@fda.hhs.gov
For more information on all drug shortages or supply issues, visit the FDA's website.