Methoxyflurane

Methoxyflurane

[me-thok-see-floor-eyn]
Methoxyflurane (C3H4Cl2F2O) is an inhalational anaesthetic used in the 1960s and early 1970s, but withdrawn because of detrimental effects on the kidneys. This was due to fluoride ions being produced by its metabolism in the kidney. (This effect was considered to be dose-dependent, smaller doses for shorter periods being considered relatively safer).

Its minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) is 0.2, hence it is extremely potent. It has a high lipid solubility (oil:gas coefficient around 950) giving it a very slow onset/offset, this being undesirable for anesthetic purposes.

Even so, methoxyflurane is a powerful analgesic (pain-relieving) agent, at well below full anaesthetic doses. The vapour is sometimes said to have a pleasant, fruity aroma.

Methoxyflurane is used extensively in Australian ambulance services, and in St John Ambulance as an emergency analgesic.

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