Isoflurane (1-chloro-2, 2,2-trifluoroethyl difluoromethyl ether) a nonflammable liquid administered by vaporizing, is a general inhalation anesthetic drug. Isoflurane is a clear, colorless, stable liquid containing no additives or chemical stabilizers. Similar to many general anesthetics, the exact mechanism of the action has not been clearly delineated. Isoflurane reduces pain sensitivity (analgesia) and relaxes muscles. Isoflurane likely potentiates GABA-A and glycine receptor activity, which decreases motor function, inhibits receptor activity in the NMDA glutamate receptor subtypes and binds to glutamate receptors. Isoflurane is always administered in conjunction with air and/or pure oxygen. Often nitrous oxide is also used. Although its physical properties imply that anesthesia can be induced more rapidly than with halothane, its pungency can irritate the respiratory system, negating this theoretical advantage conferred by its physical properties. It is usually used to maintain a state of general anesthesia that has been induced with another drug, such as thiopentone or propofol. NCATS
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