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In anaesthesia, the advantages of medicinal nitrous oxide include the following:
Well-documented, dose-dependent analgesic and mild anaesthetic effects with a MACawake of about 60 vol. % and a MACincision of about 110 vol. %.
Very minor effects on functions such as respiration and circulation during anaesthesia. Spontaneous breathing is relatively better preserved using the combination of medicinal nitrous oxide and another inhaled anaesthetics than when using inhaled anaesthetics alone.
Rapid ‘wash-in’ (uptake) and ‘wash-out’ (fast elimination) together with its ability to maintain spontaneous respiration allows faster emergence when used with a modern inhaled anaesthetic than when the anaesthetic is used alone.