Lapis ISSN 2398-2969


Contributor(s): Jill Pearson, Livia Benato



  • Isoflurane.

Class of drug

  • Inhalational anesthetic.


Chemical name

  • 2-chloro-2-(difluoromethoxy)-1,1,1-trifluoroethane.
  • 1-chloro-2,2,2-trifluoroethyl difluoromethyl ether.

Molecular formula

  • C3H2ClF5O.

Physical properties

  • Volatile halogenated ether.
  • Structural isomer of enflurane.
  • Pungent ethereal odor.
  • Non-flammable.
  • Non-explosive.

Storage requirements

  • <25°C.
  • Store away from direct heat and sunlight.
  • In original tight container.


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  • An inhalational anesthetic   Anesthesia: overview  .
  • Maintenance of anesthesia for all types of surgery, irrespective of age.

Rapid recovery following painful, eg orthopedic procedures, necessitates appropriate and rapid attention to analgesia   Analgesia  .

  • Assertations that isoflurane is safer than halothane in certain high risk cases should be discounted.

Induction via facemask using isoflurane in unpremedicated rabbits is no longer recommended.


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with other drugs

  • Duration of non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking agents is longer in isoflurane, compared with halothane-anesthetized animals   Halothane  .
  • Opioid agonists, benzodiazepines and nitrous oxide   Nitrous oxide  reduce the concentration of isoflurane required to achieve surgical anesthesia.
  • In rabbits, isoflurane MAC decreases when lidocaine is administered as a CRI at 50 and 100 ug/kg/min.

Adverse Reactions

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Barter L S & Epstein S E (2013) Cardiopulmonary effects of three concentrations of isflurane with or without mechanical ventilation and supramaxial noxious stimulation in New Zealand white rabbis. Am J Vet Res 74 (10), 1274-1280 PubMed.
  • Schnellbacher R W, Carpenter J W, Mason D E et al (2013) Effects of lidocaine administration via continuous rate infusion on the minimum alveolar concentration of isoflurane in New Zealand White rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Am J Vet Res 74 (11), 1377-1384 PubMed.
  • Yin H, Chen W M & Zhao P (2013) Cerebral state index may reflect electrical brain activity during propofol or isoflurane anaesthesia in rabbits. Vet Rec 172 (7), 184 PubMed.
  • Aksenov D, Eassa J E, Lakhoo J et al (2012) Effect of isoflurane on brain tissue oxygen tension and cerebral autoregulation in rabbits. Neuroscience Letters 524 (2), 116-118 PubMed.
  • Gil A G, Silván G, Villa A et al (2010) Serum biochemical response to inhalant anesthetics​ in New Zealand white rabbits. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci 49 (1), 52-56 PubMed.
  • González-Gil A, Silván G, García-Partida P et al (2006) Serum glucocorticoid concentrations after halothane and isoflurane anesthesia in New Zealand white rabbits. Vet Rec 159 (2), 51-52 PubMed.
  • Gil A G, Silván G, Martínez-Mateos M M et al (2005) Serum catecholamine levels after halothane and isoflurane anaesthesia in rabbits. Vet Rec 157 (19), 589-590 PubMed.
  • Hedenquist P, Roughan J V, Antunes L et al (2001) Induction of anaesthesia with desflurane and isoflurane in the rabbit. Lab Anim 35 (2), 172-179 PubMed.
  • Flecknell P A, Roughan J V & Hedenqvist P (1999) Induction of anaesthesia with sevoflurane and isoflurane in the rabbit. Lab Anim 33 (1), 41-46 PubMed.
  • Imai A, Steffey A P, Ilkiw J E et al (1999) Comparison of clinical signs and hemodynamic varaibles used to monitor rabbits during halothane- and isoflurane-induced anesthesia. Am J Vet Res 60 (10), 1189-1195 PubMed.
  • Flecknell P A, Cruz I J, Liles J H et al (1996) Induction of anaesthesia with halothane and isoflurane in the rabbit - a comparison of the use of a face-mask or an anaesthetic chamber. Lab Anim 30 (1), 67-74 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Ramsey I et al (2011) Isoflurane. In:BSAVA Small Animal Formulary. 7th edn. Cheltenham, BSAVA.
  • Carpenter J W (2005) Rabbits. In:Exotic Animal Formulary. 3rd edn. Elsevier Saunders. pp 409-444.