Helium

Identification

Summary

Helium is a gas used for medical conditions where there is a need for increased oxygen intake, such as upper airway obstruction in asthma and COPD.

Brand Names
Heliox
Generic Name
Helium
DrugBank Accession Number
DB09155
Background

Helium is a second most abundant chemical element in the universe with symbol He and atomic number 2. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, monatomic gas located at the top of the noble gases on the periodic table. Its boiling and melting points are the lowest among all the elements. Its clinical benefit in inhalation therapy arises from its advantageous physical properties than ambient air. Helium has lower density than air and generates less resistance than to provide improved lung ventilation. It is also used as an analytical reagent in diagnostic/imaging tests to detect respiratory function of the patient.

Type
Small Molecule
Groups
Approved, Investigational, Vet approved
Structure
Thumb
Weight
Average: 4.0026
Monoisotopic: 4.00260325
Chemical Formula
He
Synonyms
  • [He]
  • atomic helium
  • Helium
External IDs
  • E-939
  • INS NO.939
  • INS-939

Pharmacology

Indication

For use in patients who are not getting enough oxygen into their blood due to blockages in the lungs from pathological conditions or injuries. Suggested potential benefit in upper airway obstruction, in severe asthma, and in exacerbations of COPD/COLD. Helium may be used in place of carbon monoxide during laparoscopic surgeries as it lowers the risk of developing respiratory acidosis in selected patients.

Pharmacology
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Associated Conditions
Contraindications & Blackbox Warnings
Contraindications
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Pharmacodynamics

Helium provides lung ventilation and prevents narrowing or collapse in respiratory units. It increases the tendency to laminar flow and reduces the resistance in turbulent flow, leading to more efficient penetration of gases to the distal alveoli, higher minute volumes and improved ventilation.

Mechanism of action

Due to its lower density, helium achieves more effective flow of gas due to lowered resistance to gas flow within the airways and reduces the work of breathing by decreasing the pressure gradient needed to achieve a turbulent flow 6. Helium has a higher diffusion coefficient for carbon dioxide relative to oxygen thus promotes exhalation of trapped carbon dioxide. This reduces hypercapnia and normalizes pH. Helium increases the coronary collateral circulation and enhances the vasodilatory effects of inhaled nitric oxide on pulmonary vessels. It is suggested to possess neuroprotective properties. Cardioprotective effects against ischemia are mediated through early and late preconditioning by exposing the myocardial tissues to short ischemic episodes. Studies show that helium is associated with activation of pro-survival signalling kinases and inhibition of the opening of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP).

Absorption

Not Available

Volume of distribution

Not Available

Protein binding

Not Available

Metabolism
Not Available
Route of elimination

Respiration

Half-life

0.8 seconds

Clearance

Not Available

Adverse Effects
Medicalerrors
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Toxicity

Little evidence of toxic effects from helium therapy in clinical settings. Due to high thermal conductivity, may cause hypothermia in case of prolonged administration.

Pathways
Not Available
Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
Not Available

Interactions

Drug Interactions
This information should not be interpreted without the help of a healthcare provider. If you believe you are experiencing an interaction, contact a healthcare provider immediately. The absence of an interaction does not necessarily mean no interactions exist.
Not Available
Food Interactions
No interactions found.

Products

Products
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Brand Name Prescription Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
HeliumGas99 L/100LRespiratory (inhalation)Acetylene Oxygen Company1936-01-01Not applicableUS flag
HeliumGas990 mL/1LRespiratory (inhalation)A-OX WELDING SUPPLY CO., INC.2018-06-01Not applicableUS flag
HeliumGas999 mL/1LRespiratory (inhalation)Airgas Northern California And Nevada, Inc.1965-01-01Not applicableUS flag
HeliumGas990 mL/1LRespiratory (inhalation)Encompass Medical & Specialty Gases, Ltd.2009-04-15Not applicableUS flag
HeliumGas999 mL/1LRespiratory (inhalation)NexAir, LLC1996-06-01Not applicableUS flag
HeliumGas990 mL/1LRespiratory (inhalation)ILMO Products Company2019-09-02Not applicableUS flag
HeliumGas990 mL/1LRespiratory (inhalation)Aero All Gas Company1972-10-06Not applicableUS flag
HeliumGas999 mL/1LRespiratory (inhalation)Airgas East, Inc.1998-02-17Not applicableUS flag
HeliumGas99 L/100LRespiratory (inhalation)Specialty Gases of America, Inc1995-01-012015-06-10US flag
HeliumGas990 mL/1LRespiratory (inhalation)Roberts Oxygen Company, Inc.1967-01-01Not applicableUS flag
Mixture Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Carbon Monox, Helium, Oxygen, Nitrogen L.D.M.Helium (10.5 %) + Carbon monoxide (0.3 %) + Nitrogen (67.7 %) + Oxygen (21.5 %)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Praxair, Inc.1993-12-31Not applicableCanada flag
Co-HE-O2-N2 MixtureHelium (10.0 %) + Carbon monoxide (0.3 %) + Nitrogen (68.7 %) + Oxygen (21.0 %)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Messer Canada Inc.1995-12-31Not applicableCanada flag
Gaseous Inh Mixture 20% Oxygen 80% HeliumHelium (80 %) + Oxygen (20 %)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Air Products Canada Ltd/LtÉe.1983-12-312001-09-14Canada flag
HelioxHelium (50 %) + Oxygen (50 %)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Linde Llc1995-12-31Not applicableCanada flag
Heliox 70/30Helium (70 %) + Oxygen (30 %)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Vitalaire Canada Inc2014-12-22Not applicableCanada flag
Helium Oxygen mixtureHelium (700 mL/1L) + Oxygen (300 mL/1L)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Airgas Usa, Llc2012-01-03Not applicableUS flag
Helium Oxygen mixtureHelium (80 %) + Oxygen (20 %)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Air Liquide Canada Inc.1911-12-31Not applicableCanada flag
Helium Oxygen mixtureHelium (800 mL/1L) + Oxygen (200 mL/1L)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Praxair Distribution, Inc.2007-08-01Not applicableUS flag
Helium Oxygen Nitrogen mixtureHelium (200 mL/1L) + Nitrogen (300 mL/1L) + Oxygen (500 mL/1L)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Praxair Distribution, Inc.2005-10-01Not applicableUS flag
Helium-oxygen Mix GasHelium (50 %) + Oxygen (50 %)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Praxair, Inc.1997-05-02Not applicableCanada flag
Unapproved/Other Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
COMPRESSED Gas OXIDIZING, N.O.S.Helium (70 L/100L) + Oxygen (30 L/100L)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Norco, Inc.2008-09-01Not applicableUS flag
COMPRESSED Gas, N.O.S.Helium (79.6 L/100L) + Oxygen (20.4 L/100L)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Norco, Inc.2008-09-01Not applicableUS flag
Compressed, N.O.S.Helium (79 L/100L) + Oxygen (21 L/100L)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Linde Gas North America LLC1998-06-24Not applicableUS flag
HelioxHelium (700 mL/1L) + Oxygen (300 mL/1L)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Spec Connection International Inc2013-01-01Not applicableUS flag
HelioxHelium (800 mL/1L) + Oxygen (200 mL/1L)GasRespiratory (inhalation)NATIONAL WELDERS SUPPLY CO., INC.1964-01-012010-08-10US flag
HeliumHelium (995 mL/1L)GasRespiratory (inhalation)AIRGAS-NORPAC INC.1983-01-01Not applicableUS flag
HeliumHelium (99 L/100L)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Air Liquide Canada Inc.1960-01-012010-05-20US flag
HeliumHelium (992 mL/1L)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Airgas Intermountain Inc1985-01-01Not applicableUS flag
HeliumHelium (990 mL/1L)GasRespiratory (inhalation)Gt Industries Inc1994-01-01Not applicableUS flag
HeliumHelium (990 mL/1L)GasRespiratory (inhalation)ILMO Products Company2012-05-012014-05-01US flag

Categories

ATC Codes
V03AN03 — Helium
Drug Categories
Chemical TaxonomyProvided by Classyfire
Description
This compound belongs to the class of inorganic compounds known as homogeneous noble gases. These are inorganic non-metallic compounds in which the largest atom is a halogen atom.
Kingdom
Inorganic compounds
Super Class
Homogeneous non-metal compounds
Class
Homogeneous noble gases
Sub Class
Not Available
Direct Parent
Homogeneous noble gases
Alternative Parents
Not Available
Substituents
Homogeneous noble gas
Molecular Framework
Not Available
External Descriptors
monoatomic helium (CHEBI:33681)
Affected organisms
  • Humans and other mammals

Chemical Identifiers

UNII
206GF3GB41
CAS number
7440-59-7
InChI Key
SWQJXJOGLNCZEY-UHFFFAOYSA-N
InChI
InChI=1S/He
IUPAC Name
helium
SMILES
[He]

References

General References
  1. Berganza CJ, Zhang JH: The role of helium gas in medicine. Med Gas Res. 2013 Aug 4;3(1):18. doi: 10.1186/2045-9912-3-18. [Article]
  2. Diehl JL, Peigne V, Guerot E, Faisy C, Lecourt L, Mercat A: Helium in the adult critical care setting. Ann Intensive Care. 2011 Jul 6;1(1):24. doi: 10.1186/2110-5820-1-24. [Article]
  3. Liu W, Khatibi N, Sridharan A, Zhang JH: Application of medical gases in the field of neurobiology. Med Gas Res. 2011 Jun 27;1(1):13. doi: 10.1186/2045-9912-1-13. [Article]
  4. Dickinson R, Franks NP: Bench-to-bedside review: Molecular pharmacology and clinical use of inert gases in anesthesia and neuroprotection. Crit Care. 2010;14(4):229. doi: 10.1186/cc9051. Epub 2010 Aug 12. [Article]
  5. Pagel PS, Krolikowski JG, Pratt PF Jr, Shim YH, Amour J, Warltier DC, Weihrauch D: Reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate-regulated potassium channels mediate helium-induced preconditioning against myocardial infarction in vivo. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2008 Aug;22(4):554-9. doi: 10.1053/j.jvca.2008.04.005. Epub 2008 Jun 17. [Article]
  6. Reuben AD, Harris AR: Heliox for asthma in the emergency department: a review of the literature. Emerg Med J. 2004 Mar;21(2):131-5. [Article]
  7. Oei GT, Weber NC, Hollmann MW, Preckel B: Cellular effects of helium in different organs. Anesthesiology. 2010 Jun;112(6):1503-10. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e3181d9cb5e. [Article]
  8. FDA Compliance Program Guidance Manual: Compressed Medical Gases [Link]
  9. DailyMed: Helium gas [Link]
  10. FDA Approved Products: Heliox (helium and oxygen) gases for inhalation [Link]
Human Metabolome Database
HMDB0037238
KEGG Drug
D04420
PubChem Compound
23987
PubChem Substance
310265068
ChemSpider
22423
RxNav
5140
ChEBI
33681
ChEMBL
CHEMBL1796997
PharmGKB
PA449848
Drugs.com
Drugs.com Drug Page
Wikipedia
Helium
MSDS
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Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
PhaseStatusPurposeConditionsCount
4CompletedBasic ScienceNuclear radiation emergency1
3CompletedSupportive CareBronchiolitis / Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)1
3CompletedTreatmentBronchiolitis1
3CompletedTreatmentBronchiolitis Acute / Infections, Respiratory Syncytial Virus1
3TerminatedTreatmentChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)1
2CompletedTreatmentObstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)1
2TerminatedTreatmentChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)1
2TerminatedTreatmentStatus Asthmaticus1
2, 3CompletedSupportive CareBronchiolitis / Chronic Bronchitis1
1RecruitingOtherHealthy Volunteers1

Pharmacoeconomics

Manufacturers
Not Available
Packagers
Not Available
Dosage Forms
FormRouteStrength
GasIntracoronary; Respiratory (inhalation)992 mL/1L
GasRespiratory (inhalation)99 L/100L
GasRespiratory (inhalation)990 mL/1L
GasRespiratory (inhalation)992 mL/1L
GasRespiratory (inhalation)995 mL/1L
GasRespiratory (inhalation)999 mL/1L
GasRespiratory (inhalation)100 %
Gas99 %
GasRespiratory (inhalation)
GasRespiratory (inhalation)99 %
GasRespiratory (inhalation)79 %
Prices
Not Available
Patents
Not Available

Properties

State
Gas
Experimental Properties
PropertyValueSource
melting point (°C)-272.2MSDS
boiling point (°C)-269MSDS
water solubility1.5mg/LMSDS
logP0.28Human Metabolome Database
Predicted Properties
PropertyValueSource
logP0ChemAxon
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count0ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area0 Å2ChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count0ChemAxon
Refractivity0 m3·mol-1ChemAxon
Polarizability1.78 Å3ChemAxon
Number of Rings0ChemAxon
Bioavailability1ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterNoChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleNoChemAxon
Predicted ADMET Features
Not Available

Spectra

Mass Spec (NIST)
Not Available
Spectra
SpectrumSpectrum TypeSplash Key
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positive (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positive (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positive (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negative (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negative (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negative (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available

Drug created on October 01, 2015 21:58 / Updated on July 24, 2021 14:58