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Clinical data
Routes of
ATC code
Pharmacokinetic data
MetabolismNot metabolized
Elimination half-lifeElimination dependent on minute ventilation
CAS Number
PubChem CID
E number{{#property:P628}}
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Chemical and physical data
Molar mass168.038 g/mol

Desflurane (2-(difluoromethoxy)-1,1,1,2-tetrafluoro-ethane) is a highly fluorinated methyl ethyl ether used for maintenance of general anaesthesia. Together with sevoflurane, it is gradually replacing isoflurane for human use, except in the third world where its high cost precludes its use. It has the most rapid onset and offset of the volatile anaesthetic drugs used for general anaesthesia due to its low solubility in blood.

The major drawbacks of desflurane are its low potency, its pungency and its high cost. It may cause tachycardia and airway irritability when administered at concentrations greater than 10 vol%. It also affects targeted enzymes and can cause excessive yawning.

Though it vaporises very readily, it is a liquid at room temperature. Anaesthetic machines use an unusual anaesthetic vaporiser that heats it to generate a gas.

Physical properties

Boiling point : 23.5 °C (at 1 atm)
Density : 1.465 g/cm³ (at 20 °C)
Molecular Weight : 168
Vapor pressure: 88.5 kPa 672 mmHg (at 20 °C)
107 kPa 804 mmHg (at 24 °C)
Blood:Gas partition coefficient : 0.42
Oil:Gas partition coefficient : 19
MAC : 6 vol %

Book reference

Eger, Eisenkraft, Weiskopf. The Pharmacology of Inhaled Anesthetics. 2003. Rang, Dale, Ritter, Moore. Pharmacology 5th Edition. 2003.

de:Desfluran it:Desflurano nl:Desfluraan