Diethyl ether (C2H5-O-C2H5) is one of the metabolically safe non-halogenated anesthetics .
About 6% is metabolized in the liver to ethanol and acetaldehyde, thereafter to acetic acid and onto carbon dioxide and water.
Examples of non-halogenated anesthetics
- Divinyl ether
Non-halogenated anesthetics are all anesthetic agents mostly inhalation agents that do not contain a hologen in their structure.
Divinyl ether, developed by Chauncey Leake (1896-1978), had some advantages over ether for induction of anesthesia, but it was also flammable and never widely used.
Cyclopropane was introduced in 1934 by Ralph Waters (1884-1979) and was briefly popular, but it was violently explosive.
The flammable anesthetics prevented the use of surgical cautery and electronic monitoring.
Non-halogenated anesthetics do not contain chlorine, flurine or bromide, which are the common halogens.
Clearly, new directions were needed in the research of non-halogenated anesthetics.
These non halogenated anesthesia agents are one of the oldest used anesthesia agents and are obsolete and not of clinical significance today.
The reason is the availability of newer agents which are halogenated volatile anesthesia agents with fewer side effects and better safety profile. The newer agents can also be given in a more controlled and calculated manner with the present day advanced vaporizer machines.
Hence the study of these nonhalogenated anesthesia agents is mainly for historical and educational purposes.