Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet?
This leaflet answers some common questions about FORTHANE.
It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking Forthane against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet.
You may need to read it again.
What Forthane is used for?
This medicine belongs to a group of anaesthetic gases called halogenated anaesthetics.
This medicine is administered by an anaesthetist in the air you breathe when you go for surgery. It is a colourless liquid supplied in a glass bottle. It is given by your anaesthetist using a vaporiser, which turns the liquid into a gas so that you can breathe it in.
FORTHANE is used for inducing and maintaining heavy sleep needed during surgery. The drug produces loss of consciousness and pain sensations during surgery.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you.
Before you receive FORTHANE
Before you are due to receive Forthane
You must tell your doctor if
1. You have previously had any problems with a general anaesthetic.
2. You, or anyone in your family has malignant hyperthermia (a rare type of severe fever).
3. You have allergies to:
FORTHANE (If you have had this anaesthetic before and experienced an allergic reaction)
Halogenated anaesthetic agents, which are breathed in to induce and/or maintain anaesthesia.
4. You have or have had the following medical conditions:
Any problems with your liver including hepatitis
Growths or abnormalities in your brain
Heart disease; for example coronary artery disease, high or low blood pressure
Lung problems, for example asthma
5. You are on the following medications:
These medicines may affect the way your doctor gives you FORTHANE.
6. You are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant.
The safety of FORTHANE during pregnancy is not yet known.
7. You are breast-feeding.
When you must not receive it.
FORTHANE should not be given to patients who are not suitable for receiving a general anaesthetic.
FORTHANE should not be given to patients who are allergic or sensitive to halogenated anaesthetic agents.
Before FORTHANE is started
FORTHANE may affect your ability to drive or operate machinery and you MUST NOT drive or operate a machine for at least 24 hours after anaesthesia.
Ask your doctor when you can return to work involving machinery or heavy equipment.
If your doctor chooses to use FORTHANE, and you are to go home immediately after your operation, do not plan to consume any alcohol for the next 24 hours.
How FORTHANE is given
Only persons trained in the administration of general anaesthesia give FORTHANE. It is given using a vaporiser. The dose of FORTHANE will be adjusted to keep you at the right depth of sleep.
If you are given too much FORTHANE
As FORTHANE is given under strict supervision is it unlikely that you will receive too much. However, the anaesthetist can reduce the dose of FORTHANE and provide oxygen should your blood pressure be too low or you have difficulty in breathing.
As with all medicines, unwanted effects sometimes happen. Rarely FORTHANE may produce unwanted effect, which you may wish to know about.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
FORTHANE may cause some lowering of blood pressure and breathing rate and changes in heart rate. You will not know about these things since you will be asleep but your anaesthetist will adjust the dose of FORTHANE as necessary and will give you other medicines if needed.
FORTHANE may cause disturbances of liver function in some people.
Some people may experience shivering, nausea and vomiting upon waking from the general anaesthesia.
It is possible that FORTHANE may cause a rare group of symptoms known as malignant hyperthermia. The features of this are muscle rigidity, fast pulse, breathing heavily and quickly, bluish lips and skin, changes in blood pressure and a fever. Your doctor will treat this by stopping the FORTHANE and using other medications as needed.
The smell or odour of FORTHANE may irritate the lining of the throat and cause coughing and lowering of breathing rate during the period where you will be going to sleep. Rarely this may also be accompanied by muscle spasms of the throat.
After anaesthesia there may be a brief rise in your white blood cell count. Your doctor will monitor this if it happens.
What it looks like
FORTHANE is a colourless liquid supplied in an amber glass bottle.
Each bottle contains 250mL of the active substance isoflurane