Neuromuscular relaxants in the neonate

Clin Perinatol. 1987 Dec;14(4):965-89.


Neuromuscular blockade frequently is employed to facilitate mechanical ventilation and other therapeutic interventions in adults and children. In recent years it has been suggested that the use of neuromuscular blockade in the management of premature infants who are ventilated for respiratory distress will reduce the incidence of barotrauma and intracranial hemorrhage. Subsequently, neuromuscular blocking agents have become some of the most commonly used medications in the intensive care nursery. A discussion of these drugs is included in this article to improve the understanding of their pharmacology, the indications and consequence of their use, and their potential side effects. Additionally, the recent introduction of new, shorter-acting agents warrants a review of current practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents / pharmacology
  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Neuromuscular Junction / drug effects
  • Neuromuscular Junction / physiology
  • Pancuronium / pharmacokinetics
  • Pancuronium / pharmacology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / drug therapy*
  • Succinylcholine / pharmacokinetics
  • Succinylcholine / pharmacology
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Tubocurarine / pharmacokinetics
  • Tubocurarine / pharmacology


  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents
  • Succinylcholine
  • Pancuronium
  • Tubocurarine