The most common side effects of nitric oxide, which is frequently used to treat neonatal respiratory illness, include drowsiness, tiredness, faintness, and dizziness, according to Drugs.com. Nitric oxide can also cause more serious side effects, such as a severe drop in blood pressure and systemic infection, states WebMD.
Patients who receive nitric oxide inhalation therapy typically experience mild side effects, such as disorientation, sweating, distorted vision, tiredness, dizziness or fainting, as stated by Drugs.com. However, the use of nitric oxide can also trigger more severe side effects, such as decreased blood pressure or the presence of urine in the blood, reports WebMD. Additionally, nitric oxide therapy can lead to systemic bacterial infection which can be lethal. It can also result in the development of a condition known as methemoglobinemia, which inhibits the transfer of oxygen from blood cells to tissues and organs.
Other, less common side effects of nitric oxide include elevated blood sugar and bilirubin levels and a decrease in potassium levels, according to WebMD. In some instances, nitric oxide therapy can result in a collapsed lung, respiratory distress or chest pains. Nitric oxide is typically administered by a health care professional responsible for monitoring the patient and treating side effects as they occur.