Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Narcosis: Symptoms and Treatment

Carbon dioxide (CO2) narcosis refers to the condition in which the CO2 level in the blood is high. It’s formally called hypercapnia.

Common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion, or an inability to concentrate/think clearly
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath or elevated respiratory rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Muscle twitches
  • Panic


The key to treatment of CO2 narcosis is to restore ventilation so that excess CO2 could go out of the body. So, the methods are:

  • noninvasive ventilation;
  • intubation and mechanical ventilation.


Keywords: CO2 narcosis; hypercapnia; carbon dioxide (CO2) narcosis.

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