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A general anesthetic agent that was found to cause severe liver injury and is now rarely used.

Liver safety of Halothane

Halothane is a potent volatile halogenated anesthetic gas that has been linked to many cases of idiosyncratic acute liver injury that are frequently severe. The potential of halothane to cause hepatotoxicity and the greater safety of newer anesthetics has led to a decrease in its use, currently limited to special situations, particularly in children. Because halothane is relatively inexpensive it continues to be used in developing countries.

Mechanism of action of Halothane

in 1956 and falling out of favor in the mid 1990s. It is nonflammable, potent and well tolerated. Halothane is administered to produce end tidal concentrations of 0.7% to 1%. It has a somewhat slow onset of action and, therefore, like other halogenated inhalational anesthetics, it is used to maintain anesthesia after induction with other agents. Halothane is no longer available in the United States, but is still used in developing countries, particularly in pediatric patients. Halothane must be administered in a controlled situation by a properly trained and credentialed anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist and is typically given in concentrations up to 1% with oxygen.

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