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Sevoflurane Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to sevoflurane: inhalation liquid

As well as its needed effects, sevoflurane may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention. While you are receiving and recovering from an inhalation anesthetic like sevoflurane, your health care professional will closely follow its effects. However, some effects may not be noticed until later.

Minor Side Effects

Some sevoflurane side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

More common:
  • Cough
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • increased amount of saliva
  • nausea
  • shivering
  • vomiting
Less common:
  • Headache

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to sevoflurane: inhalation liquid


The most common adverse events were nausea, vomiting, hypotension, agitation, and cough.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (25%), vomiting (18%)
Common (1% to 10%): Increased salivation
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dry mouth[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hypotension (11%), bradycardia
Common (1% to 10%): Tachycardia, hypertension
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Arrhythmia, ventricular extrasystoles, supraventricular extrasystoles, complete AV block, bigeminy, inverted T wave, atrial fibrillation, atrial arrhythmia, second degree AV block, S-T depressed, extrasystoles
Frequency not reported: QT prolongation, torsade de pointes
Postmarketing reports: Cardiac arrest[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Cough increased (11%),
Common (1% to 10%): Laryngospasm, airway obstruction, breath holding, apnea, respiratory disorder
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Sputum increased, hypoxia, wheezing, bronchospasm, hyperventilation, pharyngitis, hiccup, hypoventilation, dyspnea, stridor, hypoxia, asthma
Postmarketing reports: Pulmonary edema[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Agitation (up to 15%)
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Crying, nervousness, confusion, insomnia, confusional state[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Somnolence, dizziness, movement
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Syncope, hypertonia, taste perversion
Postmarketing reports: Seizures, dystonia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Shivering, fever, hypothermia, headache, blood fluoride increased
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Asthenia, pain, fluorosis,
Rare (less than 0.1%): Malignant hyperthermia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): White blood cell count abnormal
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hemorrhage, leukocytosis, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia
Postmarketing reports: Transient elevations in white blood cell count[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Liver function test abnormal
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increases in AST, increases in ALT, bilirubinemia
Postmarketing reports: Hepatic dysfunction, hepatitis, jaundice, hepatic necrosis, hepatic failure, transient elevations in liver function tests[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Blood glucose abnormal
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increases in LDH, increases in alkaline phosphatase, hypophosphatemia, acidosis, hyperglycemia
Postmarketing reports: Transient elevations in glucose[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increases in BUN, increases in creatinine, glycosuria, albuminuria,
Frequency not reported: Mild impairment of renal concentrating ability
Postmarketing reports: Acute renal failure[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Amblyopia, conjunctivitis[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Urination impaired, urine abnormality, urinary retention, oliguria[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pruritus, rash[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Allergic reactions, urticaria, bronchospasm, anaphylactic or anaphylactoid reaction, hypersensitivity (including contact dermatitis, rash, dyspnea, wheezing, chest discomfort, swelling face, or anaphylactic reaction)[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Muscle twitching[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. "Product Information. Ultane (sevoflurane)." Abbott Pharmaceutical, Abbott Park, IL.

It is possible that some side effects of sevoflurane may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

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