Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet?
This leaflet answers some common questions about sevoflurane.
It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking sevoflurane against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
What sevoflurane is used for.
Sevoflurane belongs to a group of medicines called halogenated anaesthetic agents, which are breathed in to induce (commence) and/or maintain anaesthesia.
This medicine is added by an anaesthetist to the air you breathe when you go for surgery. It is a colourless liquid supplied in a bottle. It is given by your anaesthetist using a vaporiser, which turns the liquid into a gas so that you can breathe it in.
Sevoflurane is used for inducing and maintaining heavy sleep needed during surgery. The drug produces loss of consciousness and loss of pain sensations during surgery.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you.
Before you receive sevoflurane.
Before you are due to receive sevoflurane.
You must tell your doctor if:
- You have previously had any problems with a general anaesthetic.
- You, or anyone in your family has malignant hyperthermia (a rare type of severe fever).
- You have recently had any other general anaesthetic, or had more than one general anaesthetic over a short period of time.
- You have had sevoflurane before and experienced an allergic reaction.
- You have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
- Any problems with your liver including hepatitis.
- Brain disorders eg seizures (fits or epilepsy) or cancer
- Heart disease; for example coronary artery disease, high or low blood pressure
- Lung problems, for example asthma
- Any problems with your kidneys
- Any problems with your nerves and muscles (neuromuscular disease)
- You are on the following medications:
- Muscle relaxants
These medicines may affect the way your doctor gives you sevoflurane.
- You are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant.
The safety of sevoflurane during pregnancy is not yet known.
- You are breast-feeding.
When you must not receive it.
Sevoflurane should not be given to patients who are not suitable for receiving a general anaesthetic.
Sevoflurane should not be given to patients who are allergic or sensitive to sevoflurane or to other halogenated anaesthetic agents.
Sevoflurane should not be given to patients who are known or suspected to be susceptible to malignant hyperthermia.
Before sevoflurane is started
Sevoflurane may affect your ability to drive or operate machinery and you MUST NOT drive or operate a machine for at least 24 hours after anaesthesia.
Ask your doctor when you can return to work involving machinery or heavy equipment.
If your doctor chooses to use sevoflurane, and you are to go home immediately after your operation, do not consume any alcohol for the next 24 hours.
How sevoflurane is given
Only persons trained in the administration of general anaesthesia give sevoflurane. It is given using a vaporiser. A special mask will be placed over your mouth and nose and the medication will be breathed in through the mask.
The dose of sevoflurane will be adjusted to keep you at the right depth of sleep.
If you are given too much sevoflurane.
As sevoflurane is given under strict supervision it is unlikely that you will receive too much. However the anaesthetist can reduce the dose of sevoflurane and provide oxygen should your blood pressure be too low or you have difficulty in breathing.
As with all medicines, unwanted effects sometimes happen. Rarely sevoflurane may produce unwanted effects, which you may wish to know about.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Sevoflurane may cause some lowering of blood pressure and breathing rate and changes in heart rate. You will not know about these things since you will be asleep but your anaesthetist will adjust the dose of sevoflurane as necessary and will give you other medicines if needed.
Sevoflurane may cause seizures in some people.
Sevoflurane may cause disturbances of liver function in some people. After your operation, tell your doctor if you develop the following symptoms of liver problems: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, feeling generally unwell, fever, itching, yellowing of the skin and eyes, light coloured bowel motions and/or dark coloured urine.
Some people may experience shivering, nausea and vomiting upon waking from general anaesthesia.
It is possible that sevoflurane may cause a rare group of symptoms known as malignant hyperthermia. The features of this are muscle rigidity, fast pulse, breathing heavily and quickly, bluish lips and skin, changes in blood pressure and fever. Your doctor will treat this by stopping the sevoflurane and using other medications as needed.
After anaesthesia there may be a brief rise in your white blood cell count. Your doctor will monitor this if it happens.
What it looks like
Sevoflurane is a colourless liquid supplied in an aluminium bottle.
Each bottle contains 250mL of the active substance sevoflurane.
Sevoflurane is distributed in Australia by:
Baxter Healthcare Pty Ltd
1 Baxter Drive
Old Toongabbie NSW 2146
This leaflet was prepared in December 2006
AUST R 106647
Published by MIMS March 2007