Meds and you

27 September 2013

Ethyl chloride

Ethyl chloride is the active ingredient of Adco-Ethyl Chloride Spray (Nappi code:724769-005).

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Ethyl chloride is the active ingredient of Adco-Ethyl Chloride Spray (Nappi code:724769-005).

General information

Ethyl chloride is a local anaesthetic. Local anaesthetics are drugs that remove feeling and pain, and numbs a particular area of the skin.

In South Africa ethyl chloride is registered for the treatment of acute relief of muscle pain and pain associated with sprains and strains as a result of sports injuries; it is also applied to numb a localised area of the skin.

It should be noted that this medication does not cure the underlying condition, but simply keeps the symptoms under control. For it to be effective, it has to be applied regularly.

Ethyl chloride is highly flammable and should be kept away from an open flame.

How does ethyl chloride work?

Ethyl chloride is a chemical coolant that is sprayed onto an injury site (without the risk of frostbite) to produce mild loss of feeling or sensation.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 1
Available as: ethyl chloride is available as a spray.
What does it do? Ethyl chloride is used for the numbing of a localised area of the skin, and for the relief of pain associated with sprains and muscle pain.
Overdose risk: low
Dependence risk: low
Is ethyl chloride available as a generic? no
Is ethyl chloride available on prescription only? no

User information

Onset of effect: within 5 minutes
Stopping this medicine: treatment with this medication can be safely stopped when no longer needed.
Prolonged use: this drug is used for short periods of times only.

Special precautions

Ethyl chloride is for use on the skin only. Do not apply to broken skin or mucous membranes, and do not spray into the eyes. Do not inhale the spray.

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.
Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children.
The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.
Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be taken.
Alcohol: no special precautions need to be taken.

Possible side effects

Side Effect
Frequency
Consult your doctor

Common
Rare
Only if severe
In all cases
stinging

X
X

burning

X
X

skin rash

X

X
alteration of skin pigmentation

X

X

Interactions

Drug interactions
No known interactions.

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Interesting fact

Ethyl chloride is a narcotic inhalant drug, sometimes referred to as "Duster".

Similar to poppers, ethyl chloride is used as an inhalant (huffed) during sexual activity for an intense several-minute-long high that results in a prolonged orgasm.

In Brazil, it is a traditional (though illegal) drug taken during Carnival parades, known as "lança-perfume".

(This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.)

 
 

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