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Tetrachloroethylene is a chlorinated derivative of the simple hydrocarbon H2C double bond CH2, in which each of the four hydrogens is replaced by chlorine, i.e. Cl2C double bond CCl2. It is a heavy liquid that has been used to treat hookworm infections. It is administered orally at a dose of 0.1 ml/kg, with a single dose of up to 5 mL on an empty stomach. Usually formulated as capsules or emulsions, it is unstable, especially when exposed to light. Concurrent ascaris infections should be treated first to avoid the risk of worm migration and peritonitis.

 

General adverse reaction

The side effects of tetrachloroethylene are similar to carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), but less severe. Tetrachloroethylene has hepatotoxicity and neurotoxicity, but gastrointestinal disturbance is the only common adverse effect when used with care. Inhaling vapors carries some risk of addiction: inhalation can cause vascular reactions, loss of consciousness, pulmonary edema, and fatal liver and kidney damage. Alcohol and fatty foods can increase absorption and hepatotoxicity. Exposure to tetrachloroethylene is known to cause vinyl chloride disease. No allergic reactions have been reported.

 

A single dose of pCE is highly unlikely to produce tumorigenic effects. However, animal studies related to exposure to tetrachloroethylene during industrial use have shown an increased incidence of liver tumours.

 

The side effects of tetrachloroethylene are similar to carbon tetrachloride (tetrachloromethane, CCl4), but less severe. Tetrachloroethylene has hepatotoxicity and neurotoxicity, but gastrointestinal disturbance is the only common adverse effect when used with care. Inhaling vapors carries some risk of addiction: inhalation can cause vascular reactions, loss of consciousness, pulmonary edema, and fatal liver and kidney damage. Alcohol and fatty foods can increase absorption and hepatotoxicity. Exposure to tetrachloroethylene is known to cause vinyl chloride disease. No allergic reactions have been reported.

 

A single dose of pCE is highly unlikely to produce tumorigenic effects. However, animal studies associated with exposure to tetrachloroethylene during industrial use have shown an increased incidence of liver tumours (see monoon organic Solvents).

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