The estimated lethal dose of sodium nitrite in adults can be as little as 5gm, although for a reliable death, 25gm is advised (35gm if body weight is > 100Kgm)
Note: Methylene blue is the antidote for sodium nitrite ingestion and can be administered intravenously by emergency staff if nitrite ingestion is suspected. This could be any case where cyanosis (blue-ish or purple-ish discoloration of the skin) is not corrected by the administration of oxygen.
Using Sodium Nitrite for a Peaceful and Reliable Death
Sodium nitrite salt is very soluble in water. To prepare a lethal dose of the salt, 25 gm is dissolved into 50 - 100 ml of water. The taste is salty and unremarkable. Potentiation of the drug can be achieved by mixing in 400mg of propranolol before drinking. Fasting for several hours prior to taking the nitrite (and propranolol) is suggested to further improve rapid absorption of the nitrite.
Note: Vomiting can be a problem with nitrite taken as a drink, and an anti-emetic is considered essential. The recommendation is a single (stat) dose of metoclopramide 30mg ( 3x10mg tables) and ondansetron 8mg (1 x 8mg tablet) taken 40 minutes before the nitrite drink.
It is wise to have a second prepared drink that can be taken should vomiting occur. If vomiting does occur, with no supplementary drink available the procedure should be aborted.
Note: An alternative to ondansetron is haloperidol 2mg tablet.
Note: Potentiation using Nexium (80mg) and propranolol (400mg) can be taken at the same time as the antiemetic.