The clinical and basic pharmacology of mivacurium: a short-acting nondepolarizing benzylisoquinolinium diester neuromuscular blocking drug

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand Suppl. 1995;106:18-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-6576.1995.tb04303.x.


Mivacurium is a benzylisoquinolinium diester. The drug is a nondepolarizing relaxant which is hydrolysed by plasma cholinesterase at 70-88% of the rate of suxamethonium. Enzymatic hydrolysis gives the drug its short duration of action. The length of paralysis is about 2-2.5 times that of suxamethonium and one-half to one-third that of the intermediate-acting nondepolarizers. The development of mivacurium represents a collaboration between industrial pharmacologists and chemists at Burroughs Wellcome Co. (USA) and investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholinesterases / blood
  • Drug Design
  • Drug Industry
  • Half-Life
  • Hospitals, General
  • Humans
  • Hydrolysis
  • Isoquinolines / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Isoquinolines / pharmacokinetics
  • Isoquinolines / pharmacology*
  • Mivacurium
  • Neuromuscular Nondepolarizing Agents / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Neuromuscular Nondepolarizing Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Neuromuscular Nondepolarizing Agents / pharmacology*
  • Succinylcholine / pharmacokinetics


  • Isoquinolines
  • Neuromuscular Nondepolarizing Agents
  • Mivacurium
  • Cholinesterases
  • Succinylcholine