With the active ingredient Halothane is a narcotic that is usually given by inhalation. The substance appears in the form of a liquid, which is usually colorless and non-flammable. Nowadays, the drug halothane is hardly used in industrialized countries. Here the drug halothane was largely replaced by other preparations. In the third world and in various emerging countries, however, the active ingredient halothane is still used as a narcotic.
Basically, the drug halothane is a so-called halogenated hydrocarbon. The development of the drug halothane was commissioned by Imperial Chemical Industries in 1951 and manufactured by Charles Suckling. It was used as an anesthetic since 1956.
The peculiarity of the drug is that it can be taken through the airways. Today, the active ingredient halothane is largely being replaced by other, more modern types of anesthetics in the USA and Europe. These include, for example, the drugs sevoflurane, isoflurane and desflurane.
In the context of the industrial production of the substance halothane, the substance trichlorethylene usually forms the basis. This is converted together with hydrogen fluoride in the presence of antimony trichloride. The chemical reaction to the substance 2-chloro-1,1,1-trifluoroethane takes place at around 130 degrees Celsius. Another reaction is initiated in the next step. The reaction product from the first pass is brought together with bromine at a temperature of 450 degrees Celsius. As a result, the substance halothane is created.
Basically, the medicinal active ingredient halothane is a so-called racemate. The substance appears as a clear and heavy liquid that is practically insoluble in water. In the context of therapy with the drug halothane, it should be noted that malignant hyperthermia may occur.
The medicinal product halothane is characterized by its characteristic mode of action on the human organism. First and foremost, it has a strong analgesic and narcotic effect. It also has a certain relaxing effect on the muscles.
In principle, the drug halothane is used in the form of a liquid. This liquid is characterized by a sweet smell. The medicine is also very sensitive to light, which is why it is usually stored in brown or dark bottles.
In addition, halothane is readily soluble in fat and blood. In this way, the active ingredient is quickly distributed in the human blood and, accordingly, drains off again quickly. For this reason, it is ideal as an anesthetic.
It is also important that the drug does not form explosive compounds. This makes it possible to combine halothane with the substance nitrous oxide. Thus, the dose of the drug can be reduced. In principle, the medicinal substance halothane is a highly potent narcotic for inhalation.
In the majority of cases, halothane is used as part of anesthesia. The patient inhales the active ingredient so that the substance is absorbed through the airways and then passes through the lungs into the blood.
During therapy with the drug, it should be taken into account that halothane is characterized by a relatively small anesthetic width. Depending on the dose administered, there is also a drop in blood pressure.
In addition, the active ingredient halothane affects the myocardium, which is consequently more sensitive to catecholamines. This increases the risk of tachyarrhythmias in the affected patient. It should also be noted that bromide ions are released during the metabolism of the drug halothane liver. In high concentrations these ions develop a toxic effect. They can cause allergic reactions or weaken the immune system.
In particularly rare cases, patients develop what is known as halothane hepatitis, which is an allergic reaction, after administration of the drug halothane. For this reason, it is recommended to only treat people with the active ingredient halothane every three months.
In principle, not only the respective patient is exposed to the strain, but also the treating staff in particular. Today, however, halothane is used less and less. Instead, so-called halogenated ethers are increasingly used, for example isoflurane, enflurane and sevoflurane.
Various side effects are possible through the administration of the drug halothane. For example, the intracranial pressure is increased. Depending on the dose, respiratory depression is also possible. For this reason, so-called assisted ventilation is often used for anesthetic use.
In addition, the medicinal substance halothane may promote the development of malignant hyperthermia. If this condition is not treated, the mortality rate is relatively high. In particularly rare cases, halothane hepatitis occurs about a week after anesthesia with halothane. It is accompanied by symptoms such as chills, fever, pain in the joints, jaundice and blood clotting disorders. The reason for this is presumably the toxic metabolites of the pharmacological agent halothane.