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Sevoflurane – Effect, Application & Risks


Sevoflurane has a hypnotic and muscle relaxant effect. The drug is therefore used in anesthesia before surgical interventions. Sevoflurane is inhaled through a mask and puts the patient in a state of general anesthesia . The medication is individually tailored to the patient and is strictly monitored by medical professionals. Sevoflurane can cause side effects such as nausea , vomiting , headaches , and drowsiness .

What is sevoflurane?

Sevoflurane is what is known as a volatile anesthetic . Volatile anesthetics are drugs that are used by inhalation to induce or maintain anesthesia.

Chemically speaking, sevoflurane belongs to the flurane group of substances . Fluranes are non-flammable and colorless. The odor of fluranes is typically pungent. This is not the case with sevoflurane. It is therefore particularly suitable for inducing anesthesia using a mask.

The fluranes also include desflurane , enflurane, isoflurane and methoxyflurane. Those of these active ingredients that are still commercially available are in liquid form. The trade name of sevoflurane is Sevorane®.

Pharmacological effect on body & organs

Sevoflurane has muscle relaxant and hypnotic effects. Muscle relaxants are substances that have a temporary, prolonged relaxing effect on the skeletal muscles .

Sevoflurane is a so-called peripheral muscle relaxant. It exerts its action on the motor endplate of the muscle and thus prevents the excitation of the muscle by the nerve fibers . The hypnotic effect of sevoflurane puts the person being treated with the drug in a state of complete insensibility. Sevoflurane works by shutting down the consciousness and pain systems in the central nervous system .

The exact mechanism of action of substances that trigger a narcotic state has not been fully clarified to this day and is the subject of controversial discussion. Effects on a number of central nervous system receptors and on certain ion channels are described for the state of anesthesia.

Sevoflurane has not only a hypnotic and muscle relaxant but also a weak analgesic effect. Analgesics are substances commonly referred to as painkillers .

Medicinal Application & Use for Treatment & Prevention

Sevoflurane is a drug used in medicine to put the patient under general anesthesia. It is commercially available in liquid form and is inhaled through a vapor mask. Patients fall into a deep sleep by inhaling sevoflurane . Consciousness and the sensation of pain are switched off and the patient can be operated on.

Unlike other fluranes, sevoflurane is not corrosive to mucous membranes . The smell is also pleasantly neutral. Therefore, the substance is used particularly in pediatric anesthesia. The medicine should only be administered by healthcare professionals. This must be trained in the administration of the drug. It is also necessary for an anesthetist to monitor the medication.

Sevoflurane must not be used if the patient is allergic to this substance and to similar anesthetic agents. In addition, the drug must not be used if malignant hyperthermia is suspected . Malignant hyperthermia is a pathologically elevated body temperature . This can lead to massive metabolic derailments and be life-threatening.

The dose of sevoflurane depends on body weight , height , age, gender and the type and estimated duration of the surgical procedure. The anesthetist monitors the patient’s condition throughout the therapy. He decides when the medication is over.

Risks & side effects

Like almost every drug, sevoflurane can also lead to undesirable side effects. Very common side effects are coughing , nausea, vomiting, slowing of heartbeat , tremor , urge to move and low blood pressure . Drowsiness, drowsiness , fever , chills , and respiratory problems are relatively common .

Taking the medicine can also lead to increased levels of liver function tests, white blood cells and glucose in the blood . Occasionally, disturbances in the electrical conduction of impulses occur at the AV node of the heart .

Other possible side effects such as liver inflammation , skin rash , itching , chest pain , inflammation of the skin, seizures , shortness of breath , hives , facial swelling and cardiac arrest cannot be ruled out .

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.