Skip to Content

Isoflurane Side Effects

Applies to isoflurane: inhalation liquid


General side effects including malignant hyperthermia and shivering have been observed in the postoperative period.

In general, side effects encountered in the administration of isoflurane are dose dependent extensions of pharmacophysiologic effects and include respiratory depression, hypotension, and arrhythmias.[Ref]


Hepatic side effects have included rare reports of mild, moderate, and severe (sometimes fatal) postoperative hepatic dysfunction and hepatitis. There have also been rare postmarketing reports of hepatic failure and hepatic necrosis associated with the use of potent volatile anesthetic agents, including isoflurane.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects including nausea, vomiting, and ileus have been observed in the postoperative period.[Ref]


Isoflurane can react with desiccated carbon dioxide (CO2) absorbents to produce carbon monoxide, which may result in elevated levels of carboxyhemoglobin in some patients.[Ref]

Respiratory side effects including elevated carboxyhemoglobin levels have been reported.[Ref]


Metabolic side effects including perioperative hyperkalemia have been reported.[Ref]


Hematologic side effects including transient elevations in white blood count have been reported even in the absence of surgical stress.[Ref]


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

Not all side effects for isoflurane may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.