The active ingredient, methoxyflurane, has been found to have no known drug interactions at the dosage levels used in the Penthrox. It is also suitable for almost all patients the exceptions being:
• Patients who either have had, or have a family history of malignant Hyperthermia
• Patients with severe renal (kidney) impairment
• During the first Trimester of pregnancy.
Side effects are uncommon but have included nausea, vomiting, and headache.
The inhaler itself is a green plastic device, 15cm in length with a mouthpiece at one end and a wick running through the centre. Liquid Methoxyflurane is poured onto the wick. There is a very strong, “fruity” smell. Initially two very shallow breaths should be taken to allow the patient to become accustomed to the smell. The Penthrox then has a very rapid onset of action- only 6-8 further breaths are required. The patients can then control their own level of relief by inhaling intermittently during treatment. The device has a dilutor hole so that patients can vary the strength of the dose received according to how they feel.
In Adults Penthrox has been found to make dentistry a more pleasant experience in 86% of cases. Although Penthrox is safe to use on children, and has been used on children as young as one in Australia, in dentistry Penthrox has been found to be effective in helping children under 10 cope with dental procedures in only 27% of cases.
Penthrox can be used to help patients to cope with, and in some cases avoid having to have local anaesthetic for many procedures including
• Pain relief following dental injury
• Prior to injection
• Removal of temporary crowns
• Scaling/root planning
• Taking impressions or x-rays in people who have difficulty with gagging
• Removing stitches
• Treating dry sockets
Following administration of Penthrox you will need someone to collect you and escort you home. You must not drive a vehicle, ride a bicycle, operate hazardous machinery, or conduct responsible business matters for 24 hours.