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Isoflurane Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 13, 2020.

For the Consumer

Applies to isoflurane: inhalation solution

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of high potassium levels like a heartbeat that does not feel normal; feeling confused; feeling weak, lightheaded, or dizzy; feeling like passing out; numbness or tingling; or shortness of breath.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Trouble breathing, slow breathing, or shallow breathing.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Muscle stiffness.
  • Change in color of skin to a bluish color like on the lips, nail beds, fingers, or toes.
  • This drug may cause a very bad and sometimes deadly problem called malignant hyperthermia. Call your doctor right away if you have a fast heartbeat, fast breathing, fever, or spasm or stiffness of the jaw muscles.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Shivering.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to isoflurane: inhalation liquid


Frequency not reported: Hepatocellular injury, blood bilirubin increased, hepatic enzymes increased

Postmarketing reports: Hepatic necrosis, hepatic failure[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Nausea, vomiting, ileus[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Coughing

Common (1% to 10%): Laryngospasm

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Secretions

Rare (less than 0.1%): Bronchospasm, dyspnea, wheezing, chest discomfort

Frequency not reported: Respiratory depression[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hyperkalemia, blood glucose increased[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Carboxyhemoglobinemia, hemorrhage, white blood cell count increased[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Anaphylactic reaction, hypersensitivity[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Shivering, chills, myoglobinuria, rhabdomyolysis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Agitation, delirium, altered mood, mental impairment[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Malignant hyperthermia, fluoride increased, blood cholesterol decreased, blood alkaline phosphatase decreased[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Convulsion[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Blood creatinine increased, blood urea decreased[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Postoperative hypotension

Rare (less than 0.1%): Postoperative hypertension

Frequency not reported: Hypotension, arrhythmia, bradycardia, cardiac arrest, QT prolonged, tachycardia, torsade de pointes

Postmarketing reports: Cardiac arrest[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Swelling face, contact dermatitis, rash[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Forane (isoflurane)." Baxter Pharmaceutical Products, Inc, New Providence, NJ.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.