Early reversal of profound rocuronium-induced neuromuscular blockade by sugammadex in a randomized multicenter study: efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics

Anesthesiology. 2007 May;106(5):935-43. doi: 10.1097/01.anes.0000265152.78943.74.


Background: Sugammadex reverses the neuromuscular blocking effects of rocuronium by chemical encapsulation. The efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of sugammadex for reversal of profound rocuronium-induced neuromuscular blockade were evaluated.

Methods: Ninety-eight male adult patients were randomly assigned to receive sugammadex (1, 2, 4, 6, or 8 mg/kg) or placebo at 3, 5, or 15 min after 0.6 mg/kg rocuronium. Patients were anesthetized with propofol and fentanyl. The primary endpoint of the study was the time to achieve a recovery of train-of-four ratio to 0.9. Neuromuscular blockade was measured using acceleromyography. Concentrations of rocuronium and sugammadex were determined in venous blood and urine samples. A population pharmacokinetic model using NONMEM (GloboMax LLC, Hanover, MD) was applied.

Results: The mean time to recovery of the train-of-four ratio to 0.9 after dosing at 3, 5, and 15 min decreased from 52.1, 51.7, and 35.6 min, respectively, after administration of placebo to 1.8, 1.5, and 1.4 min, respectively, after 8 mg/kg sugammadex. Sugammadex was safe and well tolerated. However, 20.4% of patients showed signs of inadequate anesthesia after its administration. The median cumulative excretion of rocuronium in the urine over 24 h was 26% in the placebo group and increased to 58-74% after 4-8 mg/kg sugammadex. The mean plasma clearances of sugammadex and rocuronium were 0.084 and 0.26 l/min, respectively.

Conclusions: In male subjects, sugammadex safely reversed profound neuromuscular blockade induced by 0.6 mg/kg rocuronium in a dose-dependent manner. Sugammadex enhanced the renal excretion of rocuronium, and its clearance is approximately one third that of rocuronium.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Androstanols / pharmacokinetics
  • Androstanols / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuromuscular Blockade*
  • Neuromuscular Nondepolarizing Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rocuronium
  • Safety
  • Sugammadex
  • gamma-Cyclodextrins / adverse effects
  • gamma-Cyclodextrins / pharmacokinetics
  • gamma-Cyclodextrins / pharmacology*


  • Androstanols
  • Neuromuscular Nondepolarizing Agents
  • gamma-Cyclodextrins
  • Sugammadex
  • Rocuronium