Nondepolarizing Paralytics

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan.


Non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking drugs (NMBDs) work by competing with acetylcholine (Ach) for binding sites on nicotinic alpha subunits. They produce skeletal muscle relaxation for endotracheal intubation, reduce patient movement to optimize operating conditions, and have been shown to improve compliance with mechanical ventilation. Since muscle relaxants lack analgesic or anesthetic properties, they should not be used without anxiolytic or hypnotic agents or in inadequately anesthetized patients due to increased risk of awareness during general anesthesia. This activity outlines the indications, mechanism of action, methods of administration, significant adverse effects, contraindications, monitoring, and toxicity of non-depolarizing, neuromuscular, blocking drugs, so providers can direct patient therapy to optimal outcomes in anesthesia and other conditions where non-depolarizing, neuromuscular blocking drugs have therapeutic benefit.

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  • Study Guide