TERRELL- isoflurane liquid
Piramal Critical Care Inc


Terrell (isoflurane, USP), a nonflammable liquid administered by vaporizing, is a general inhalation anesthetic drug. It is 1-chloro-2,2,2-trifluoroethyl difluoromethyl ether, and its structural formula is:

(click image for full-size original)

Some physical constants are:

Molecular weight184.5
Boiling point at 760 mm Hg48.5°C
Refractive index n20-d1.2990-1.3005
Specific gravity 25°/25°C1.496
Vapor pressure in mm Hg**

**Equation for vapor pressure calculation:

(click image for full-size original)
Partition coefficients at 37°C:




Partition coefficients at 25°C — rubber and plastic

Conductive rubber/gas


Butyl rubber/gas75.0
Polyvinyl chloride/gas110.0


Butyl acetate/gas~2.5
Purity by gas chromatography>99.9%
Lower limit of flammability in oxygen or nitrous oxide at 9 joules/sec. and 23°CNone
Lower limit of flammability in oxygen or nitrous oxide at 900 joules/sec. and 23°CGreater than useful concentration in anesthesia.

Isoflurane is a clear, colorless, stable liquid containing no additives or chemical stabilizers. Isoflurane has a mildly pungent, musty, ethereal odor. Samples stored in indirect sunlight in clear, colorless glass for five years, as well as samples directly exposed for 30 hours to a 2 amp, 115 volt, 60 cycle long wave U.V. light were unchanged in composition as determined by gas chromatography. Isoflurane in one normal sodium methoxide-methanol solution, a strong base, for over six months consumed essentially no alkali, indicative of strong base stability. Isoflurane does not decompose in the presence of soda lime (at normal operating temperatures), and does not attack aluminium, tin, brass, iron or copper.


Induction of and recovery from isoflurane anesthesia are rapid. Isoflurane has a mild pungency which limits the rate of induction, although excessive salivation or tracheobronchial secretions do not appear to be stimulated. Pharyngeal and laryngeal reflexes are readily obtunded. The level of anesthesia may be changed rapidly with isoflurane. Isoflurane is a profound respiratory depressant. As anesthetic dose is increased, tidal volume decreases and respiratory rate is unchanged. This depression is partially reversed by surgical stimulation, even at deeper levels of anesthesia. Isoflurane evokes a sigh response reminiscent of that seen with diethyl ether and enflurane, although the frequency is less than with enflurane.

Blood pressure decreases with induction of anesthesia but returns toward normal with surgical stimulation. Progressive increases in depth of anesthesia produce corresponding decreases in blood pressure. Nitrous oxide diminishes the inspiratory concentration of isoflurane required to reach a desired level of anesthesia and may reduce the arterial hypotension seen with isoflurane alone. Heart rhythm is remarkably stable. With controlled ventilation and normal PaCO 2 , cardiac output is maintained despite increasing depth of anesthesia, primarily through an increase in heart rate which compensates for a reduction in stroke volume. The hypercapnia which attends spontaneous ventilation during isoflurane anesthesia further increases heart rate and raises cardiac output above awake levels.

Muscle relaxation is often adequate for intra-abdominal operations at normal levels of anesthesia. Complete muscle paralysis can be attained with small doses of muscle relaxants. ALL COMMONLY USED MUSCLE RELAXANTS ARE MARKEDLY POTENTIATED WITH ISOFLURANE, THE EFFECT BEING MOST PROFOUND WITH THE NONDEPOLARIZING TYPE. Neostigmine reverses the effect of nondepolarizing muscle relaxants in the presence of isoflurane. All commonly used muscle relaxants are compatible with isoflurane.

Isoflurane can produce coronary vasodilation at the arteriolar level in selected animal models; the drug is probably also a coronary dilator in humans. Isoflurane, like some other coronary arteriolar dilators, has been shown to divert blood from collateral dependent myocardium to normally perfused areas in an animal model (“coronary steal”). Clinical studies to date evaluating myocardial ischemia, infarction and death as outcome parameters have not established that the coronary arteriolar dilation property of isoflurane is associated with coronary steal or myocardial ischemia in patients with coronary artery disease.

Pharmacokinetics: Isoflurane undergoes minimal biotransformation in man. In the postanesthesia period, only 0.17% of the isoflurane taken up can be recovered as urinary metabolites.


Isoflurane may be used for induction and maintenance of general anesthesia. Adequate data have not been developed to establish its application in obstetrical anesthesia.


Isoflurane is contraindicated in patients:

• in whom general anesthesia is contraindicated.

• with known sensitivity to isoflurane or to other halogenated agents.

• with known or suspected genetic susceptibility to malignant hyperthermia.

• with a history of confirmed hepatitis due to a halogenated inhalational anesthetic or a history of unexplained moderate to severe hepatic dysfunction (e.g., jaundice associated with fever and/or eosinophilia) after anesthesia with isoflurane or other halogenated inhalational anesthetics


Perioperative Hyperkalemia: Use of inhaled anesthetic agents has been associated with rare increases in serum potassium levels that have resulted in cardiac arrhythmias and death in pediatric patients during the postoperative period. Patients with latent as well as overt neuromuscular disease, particularly Duchenne muscular dystrophy, appear to be most vulnerable. Concomitant use of succinylcholine has been associated with most, but not all, of these cases. These patients also experienced significant elevations in serum creatinine kinase levels and, in some cases, changes in urine consistent with myoglobinuria. Despite the similarity in presentation to malignant hyperthermia, none of these patients exhibited signs or symptoms of muscle rigidity or hypermetabolic state. Early and aggressive intervention to treat the hyperkalemia and resistant arrhythmias is recommended, as is subsequent evaluation for latent neuromuscular disease.

Malignant Hyperthermia: In susceptible individuals, isoflurane anesthesia may trigger a skeletal muscle hypermetabolic state leading to high oxygen demand and the clinical syndrome known as malignant hyperthermia. The syndrome includes nonspecific features such as muscle rigidity, tachycardia, tachypnea, cyanosis, arrhythmias, and unstable blood pressure. (It should also be noted that many of these nonspecific signs may appear with light anesthesia, acute hypoxia, etc.) An increase in overall metabolism may be reflected in an elevated temperature, (which may rise rapidly early or late in the case, but usually is not the first sign of augmented metabolism) and an increased usage of the CO 2 absorption system (hot canister). PaO 2 and pH may decrease, and hyperkalemia and a base deficit may appear. Treatment includes discontinuance of triggering agents (e.g., isoflurane), administration of intravenous dantrolene sodium, and application of supportive therapy. Such therapy includes vigorous efforts to restore body temperature to normal, respiratory and circulatory support as indicated, and management of electrolyte-fluid-acid-base derangements. (Consult prescribing information for dantrolene sodium intravenous for additional information on patient management.) Renal failure may appear later, and urine flow should be sustained if possible. Fatal outcome of malignant hyperthermia has been reported with isoflurane.

Hepatic Reactions

Cases of mild, moderate and severe postoperative hepatic dysfunction or hepatitis with or without jaundice, including fatal hepatic necrosis and hepatic failure, have been reported with isoflurane.

Such reactions can represent hypersensitivity hepatitis, a known risk of exposure to halogenated anesthetics, including isoflurane. As with other halogenated anesthetic agents, Isoflurane may cause sensitivity hepatitis in patients who have been sensitized by previous exposure to halogenated anesthetics (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

Clinical judgment should be exercised when isoflurane is used in patients with underlying hepatic conditions or under treatment with drugs known to cause hepatic dysfunction. (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

As with all halogenated anesthetics, repeated anesthetics within a short period of time may result in increased effects, particularly in patients with underlying hepatic conditions, or additive effects in patients treated with drugs known to cause hepatic dysfunction. Evaluate the need for repeated exposure in each individual patient and adjust the dose of isoflurane based on signs and symptoms of adequate depth of anesthesia if repeated exposure in a short period of time is clinically indicated.

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Allergic-type hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, have been reported with isoflurane. Manifestations of such reactions have included hypotension, rash, difficulty breathing and cardiovascular collapse


Increased blood loss comparable to that seen with halothane has been observed in patients undergoing abortions.

QTc Prolongation

QTc prolongation, with rare instances of torsade de pointes, have been reported. Monitor QT interval when administering isoflurane to susceptible patients.

Pediatric Neurotoxicity: Published animal studies demonstrate that the administration of anesthetic and sedation drugs that block NMDA receptors and/or potentiate GABA activity increase neuronal apoptosis in the developing brain and result in long-term cognitive deficits when used for longer than 3 hours. The clinical significance of these findings is not clear. However, based on the available data, the window of vulnerability to these changes is believed to correlate with exposures in the third trimester of gestation through the first several months of life, but may extend out to approximately three years of age in humans (see PRECAUTIONS/ Pregnancy, Pediatric Use, and ANIMAL TOXICOLOGY AND/OR PHARMACOLOGY).

Some published studies in children suggest that similar deficits may occur after repeated or prolonged exposures to anesthetic agents early in life and may result in adverse cognitive or behavioral effects. These studies have substantial limitations, and it is not clear if the observed effects are due to the anesthetic/sedation drug administration or other factors such as the surgery or underlying illness.

Anesthetic and sedation drugs are a necessary part of the care of children needing surgery, other procedures, or tests that cannot be delayed, and no specific medications have been shown to be safer than any other. Decisions regarding the timing of any elective procedures requiring anesthesia should take into consideration the benefits of the procedure weighed against the potential risks.

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