Major Uses

Halothane is an inhalant general anesthetic. It is no longer available in many countries, as it has been replaced by other anesthetics that have fewer cardiodepressant effects.

Common Precautions

Halothane should not be used in patients with a history or predilection toward malignant hypothermia or significant hepatotoxicity after exposure to halothane in a previous treatment. Caution should also be taken when being used in patients with hepatic function impairment, cardiac arrhythmias, increased CSF or head injury, myasthenia gravis, or pheochromocytoma. Halothane can cause hypotension, which has been linked to dose amount. Malignant hyperthermia-stress syndrome has occurred in pigs, horses, dogs and cats. Cardiac depression and dysrhythmias is also possible with the use of halothane.

Halothane should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. A veterinarian should be contacted immediately if an overdose is suspected.


Halothane should be kept at a temperature below 104 degrees Fahrenheit in a tight, light resistant, childproof container. Thymol and ammonia have been reported to help maintain the stability of halothane. The drug should not be used if there is any noticeable discoloration.


Halothane is inhaled, so all dose amounts are mixed with gas. The concentration depends on the gas flow rate. The recommended dose must be determined by a licensed veterinarian.

Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.

This information is for general reference only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition of your pet. It's intended as a general reference, this information may not include all possible uses, precautions, directions, reactions (including allergic), drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your local veterinarian and have your pet examined for any advice concerning the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, including which products and doses are most appropriate. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. VetDepot is not a pharmacy. All prescription products are dispensed by our Pharmacy Partner. Article last updated 2/2014.