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Isoflurane is used as general anaesthesia for all type of surgeries.

How it works

Isoflurane belongs to a class of drugs called inhalational general anaesthetics. It acts in the brain (central nervous system) and causes temporary state of unconsciousness during surgeries.

Common side effects

Vomiting, Nausea, Abnormal heart rhythm, Abnormal white blood cells, Decreased blood pressure, Increased white blood cell count (eosinophils), Malignant hyperthermia (increased body temperature), Respiratory depression, Shivering, Liver dysfunction


Expert advice

  • You will be continuously monitored for blood potassium levels during the operation, as the drug is known to raise blood potassium levels.
  • You may be constantly monitored during entire anaesthetic procedure to observe any signs of low blood pressure, changes in pulse rate, irregular heart beat and ventilation.
  • It may raise the intracranial pressure (the pressure inside the skull and thus in the brain tissue and cerebrospinal fluid) and impair the ability to drive or operate machinery for few days. 
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take if allergic to isoflurane or any of its ingredients or any other inhalational anaesthetics.
  • Avoid if Patients has past or family history of malignant hyperthermia (rapid rise in body temperature).
  • Avoid if Patients has history of porphyria (a rare blood pigment disorder).

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is isoflurane a controlled substance?
No, it’s not a controlled substance.
Q. Is isoflurane carcinogenic?
No, isoflurane not carcinogenic.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)