Poppers are the informal name for the chemical compounds known as alkyl nitrites, more specifically when used as recreational drugs. These compounds include isobutyl nitrite, isopropyl nitrite, butyl nitrite and amyl nitrite. Alkyl nitrites were first used in medical practice to treat complications such as Angina (a form of chest pain resulting from suppressed blood flow to the heart), and other cardiovascular conditions.
When administered into the body through inhalation, alkyl nitrites have the effect of causing muscles to relax and enlarge thereby allowing more blood to flow through the body. Poppers can be traced to the late twentieth century when their use as recreational drugs was common among young people.
Poppers use for recreation is due to their ability to alter the state of mind (make you high), enhance the sexual experience but could result in some negative effects that include death when swallowed, and feelings of weakness, sickness, and faintness.