Use of nitrous oxide in podiatry settings
Reclassification of nitrous oxide and its use within podiatry
The UK government announced that nitrous oxide has been reclassified as a class C drug effective Wednesday 8 November 2023. This means that possession of nitrous oxide is illegal unless for ‘legitimate purposes’ that include medical and catering uses. Nitrous oxide has medical uses within podiatry, including for use in cryotherapy procedures. The Royal College of Podiatry has confirmed with the Department of Health and Social Care that nitrous oxide can continue to be used for these purposes safely and legally. You can view the full government statement on its website [Nitrous oxide ban: guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)]
We would advise members who utilise nitrous oxide in clinical practice to continue storing the substance in line with the relevant COSHH and safety protocols as instructed by the product manufacturers. Patients and the public must not be left unattended with nitrous oxide in your practice.