What is a Patient Information Leaflet and why is it useful?

The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from this version because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged.

Below is a text only representation of the Patient Information Leaflet. The original can be viewed in PDF format using the link above.

The text only version may be available from RNIB in large print, Braille or audio CD. For further information call RNIB Medicine Leaflet Line on 0800 198 5000. The product code(s) for this leaflet is: PL41042/0004.

Sevoflurane

PACKAGE LEAFLET: INFORMATION FOR THE USER

SEVOFLURANE ®

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Read all of this leaflet carefully before you receive Sevoflurane.

  • Keep this leaflet as you may need to read it again.
  • This leaflet provides a summary of the information currently available on Sevoflurane.
  • For further information or advice, ask your ward doctor or anaesthetist.
  • Tell your ward doctor or anaesthetist if you experience any side effects.

In this leaflet:

1. What is Sevoflurane and what does it do?
2. What should you know before receiving Sevoflurane?
3. How will you receive Sevoflurane?
4. What will happen after receiving Sevoflurane?
5. How should Sevoflurane be stored?
6. Further information about Sevoflurane.

1. What is Sevoflurane and what does it do?

Sevoflurane belongs to a group of medicines called general anaesthetics. These work by temporarily reducing the activity of the body’s central nervous system. This causes a complete loss of sensation in the body, including loss of consciousness allowing surgery to be carried out without pain or distress.

Sevoflurane is a clear colourless liquid, that when put into a special anaesthetic machine (vaporiser) becomes a gas. This mixes with the oxygen you will be breathing in.

Once breathed in (inhaled), Sevoflurane will induce and maintain a deep, pain-free sleep (general anaesthesia) in adults and children.

2. What should you know before receiving Sevoflurane?

TELL YOUR WARD DOCTOR, SURGEON OR ANAESTHETIST if:

  • You have been told previously that you should not receive general anaesthesia.
  • You have been told that you are sensitive or have an allergy to Sevoflurane or any other anaesthetic.
  • You or any member of your family has had a condition called malignant hyperthermia (rapid increase in body temperature and severe muscle contractions) during an operation.
  • You have liver problems or if you have previously had general anaesthetics, particularly if repeated over a short period of time. Some anaesthetics can occasionally cause problems in the liver, which can cause yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).
  • You are prone to or at risk for seizures (fits).
  • You have ever had QT prolongation (prolongation of a specific time interval in an ECG) or torsade de pointes (a specific type of heart rhythm), which may also be associated with QT prolongation. Sevoflurane has sometimes been known to cause these.
  • You have a mitochondrial disease.

In addition to the above, if Sevoflurane is to be administered to your child, please tell their ward doctor, surgeon or anaesthetist if they:

  • have seizures or seizure disorder (fits), as Sevoflurane may increase the risk of seizures
  • have Pompe’s disease (a metabolic disorder). Sevoflurane may produce abnormal heart rhythms, which may be severe in some cases
  • have a severe muscle disorder such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • have a mitochondrial disorder, which is a disorder that people may be born with and may affect special cells of the heart, brain, and kidney.

As with all drugs, it is important that you tell your ward doctor or anaesthetist which medications you are taking. This is particularly important if you are taking the following drugs:

  • Amphetamines (stimulants)
  • Beta blockers, calcium antagonists or a drug called verapamil (used to treat high blood pressure and certain heart conditions)
  • Isoniazid (an antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis)
  • St John’s Wort (a herbal remedy used to help with depression)
  • Decongestants (ephedrine).
  • Non-selective monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (a type of antidepressants)
  • Calcium antagonists
  • Benzodiazepines and Opioids
  • Sympathomimetic agents such as isoprenaline

PREGNANCY AND BREAST FEEDING

Tell your ward doctor, surgeon or anaesthetist if you are pregnant, could be pregnant or are breast feeding. It is not known whether Sevoflurane or its by-products are transferred into human milk. It is advisable to stop breast-feeding for 48 hours after Sevoflurane administration and discard any milk that is produced during this period.

DRIVING & USING MACHINERY

You should NOT drive or operate machinery after your operation or procedure, for which the anaesthetic has been administered, until your ward doctor advises that you may do so.

Your ability to drive or operate machinery may be impaired for some time.

3. How will you receive Sevoflurane?

Sevoflurane will ALWAYS be administered to you by an anaesthetist. They will decide on the dose you will receive, depending on your age, weight and the type of operation you are having.

Sevoflurane will send you to sleep quickly and smoothly. It also has a pleasant smell.

Inducing sleep at the start of anaesthesia

To send you to sleep, you may be asked to breathe in Sevoflurane through a mask. However on most occasions you will be given an injection of another anaesthetic to make you go to sleep before receiving Sevoflurane.

Maintaining sleep during anaesthesia

Under the observation of the anaesthetist you will continue to breathe in Sevoflurane during the operation via a mask.

Waking-up after anaesthesia

Once the anaesthetist stops you from inhaling Sevoflurane you will wake up within a few minutes.

4. What will happen after receiving Sevoflurane?

As with all anaesthetics, Sevoflurane can cause side effects.

These can occur both during and after your operation.

The frequency of side effects is classified as follows:

Very common: more than 1 out of 10 persons treated;

Common: less than 1 out of 10, but more than 1 out of 100 persons treated;

Uncommon: less than 1 out of 100, but more than 1 out of 1,000 persons treated;

Rare: less than 1 out of 1,000, but more than 1 out of 10,000 persons treated.

Very rare: less than 1 out of 10,000 persons treated.

Unknown: when an estimation of frequency is not possible.

The following side effects with Sevoflurane are serious and will be managed by your surgeon or anaesthetist, as necessary, during the operation. If you experience any of these side effects after your operation get medical help immediately.

Those occurring with unknown frequency:

  • Allergic reactions with symptoms such as rash, swelling of the face, wheezing
  • Rapid rise in body temperature (malignant hyperthermia)
  • Wheezing and breathlessness

Those occurring very commonly:

  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia)

Those occurring commonly

  • Throat spasm

Those occurring uncommonly

  • Heart disorders (AV block), which will be closely monitored by your anaesthetist during your operation and may be recognized by dizziness after your operation

The frequency of other side effects observed following the use of Sevoflurane are:

Very common frequency:

  • agitation
  • decreased blood pressure (hypotension)
  • cough
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Common frequency:

  • drowsiness (somnolence)
  • dizziness
  • increased blood pressure (hypertension)
  • headache
  • fast heart rate (tachycardia)
  • slow shallow breathing (respiratory depression)
  • watering mouth (salivary hypersecretion)
  • chills
  • fever (pyrexia)
  • low body temperature (hypothermia)
  • abnormal sugar (glucose) level
  • abnormal liver function test*
  • white blood cell count abnormal
  • blood fluoride increased **
  • delirium

Uncommon frequency:

  • a decrease or increase in the number of certain white blood cells. A decrease in the number of white blood cells may be associated with dizziness, fatigue, weakness, mouth ulcers and a tendency towards infections.
  • confusion
  • abnormal heart rhythm
  • pauses in breathing
  • inadequate amount of oxygen
  • asthma
  • difficulty in passing urine
  • glucose in the urine***
  • abnormal kidney function test*

Unknown frequency:

  • convulsions (fits), particularly in children
  • twitching and jerking movements
  • fluid in the lungs
  • inflammation or damage to the liver. People with liver disease may have abdominal pain or fullness, dark urine, pale or white-coloured stool, fatigue, general itching, yellowing of the eyes, nausea and vomiting
  • kidney failure. People with kidney disease may have tiredness, swelling or puffiness in the face, abdomen, thighs or ankles, passing less urine or problems urinating and back pain
  • skin rashes
  • heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat or abnormal heart rhythm) known as QT prolongation

*If you have a blood test, you may be told that you have changes in your liver or kidney enzymes or other products found in the blood. These will not normally cause any symptoms.

**Levels of fluoride in the blood may be raised slightly during and immediately after anaesthesia, due to the body breaking down sevoflurane, but these levels are not believed to be harmful and soon return to normal.

*** If you have a urine test you may be told that you have glucose in your urine. You may not have any symptoms.

There have been very rare reports of cardiac arrest, a condition where the heart stops beating.

After surgery, some children may have irregular heart rhythms, which can potentially be life-threatening, due to changes in blood potassium levels.

Children with Pompe’s disease, a disease that they are born with, may have irregular heart rhythm during anaesthesia with Sevoflurane.

After receiving Sevoflurane

You will come round or wake up within a few minutes. Children in particular, may be restless on awakening. Tell your doctor or anaesthetist if you need additional pain relief.

If you have any other unusual or unexpected symptoms after receiving Sevoflurane anaesthesia, tell your ward doctor or anaesthetist immediately.

If you have any questions about Sevoflurane which are not answered by this leaflet, ask your ward doctor or anaesthetist.

Reporting side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly (see details below). By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

United Kingdom
Yellow Card Scheme
Website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard

or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store

Malta
ADR Reporting
Website: www.medicinesauthority.gov.mt/adrportal

5. How should Sevoflurane be stored?

Sevoflurane should be stored in a tightly closed container NOT above 25°C. Do NOT use after the expiry date printed on the packaging.

6. Further information about Sevoflurane

Sevoflurane ingredients:

The active ingredient is sevoflurane. Water is also present to provide the Sevoflurane with protection from substances that can cause its breakdown (environmental Lewis acids).

Marketing Authorisation and Manufacturer’s Details

Marketing Authorisation Holder:

AbbVie Ltd
Maidenhead
SL6 4UB
UK

Manufacturer:

AbbVie S.r.l.
148 Pontina km 52 SNC
04011 Campoverde die Aprilia (LT)
Italy

This leaflet was last updated in March 2018.