The case is presented of a 39-year-old male in status asthmaticus who failed to respond to conventional therapy, including positive pressure ventilation, and who required halothane anesthesia. The urgent need to reduce his elevated airway pressure and his risk of barotrauma prompted this action. The patient's response was prompt with marked reductions in airway pressure. Discontinuing halothane resulted in rises in airway pressure, necessitating reinstitution of halothane on several occasions. The mechanism of the bronchodilating action of halothane, as well as potential interactions with other pharmacotherapy and precautions for its use, are described.