Rocuronium is the best non-depolarizing relaxant to prevent succinylcholine fasciculations and myalgia

Can J Anaesth. 1998 Jun;45(6):521-5. doi: 10.1007/BF03012701.


Purpose: To determine which non-depolarizing relaxant among d-tubocurarine, vecuronium, atracurium, mivacurium and rocuronium prevented muscular fasciculations and myalgia following succinylcholine.

Methods: In this double blind randomized study, 120 female patients scheduled for laparoscopic procedures were studied. They were divided into six groups of 20 according to the non-depolarizing pretreatment used: NaCl 0.9% (control), 0.05 d-tubocurarine, 0.01 vecuronium, 0.05 atracurium, 0.02 mivacurium and 0.06 rocuronium. Four minutes after the pretreatment, 1.5 succinylcholine was injected. Side effects of the pretreatment, the presence and magnitude of fasciculations, the ease of tracheal intubation, myalgia 1, 24 and 48 hr after surgery were observed. A Puritan Bennett Datex 221 NMT Relaxograph monitor was used to evaluate the neuromuscular block.

Results: Muscle fasciculations were observed in 19 of the 20 patients in the control group and in 3 of the 20 patients in the rocuronium group, the best of the pretreatments in that aspect. Four patients in the mivacurium group were unable to sustain more than four seconds head-lift after pretreatment (P < 0.05). Tracheal intubation conditions were better and the onset of block was faster and longer after succinylcholine in the control group (P < 0.05). Myalgias were present in 71% of the patients 24 hr postoperatively and the frequency was not different among the groups.

Conclusion: Among the pretreatments tested, 0.06 rocuronium was the best to prevent muscular fasciculations following succinylcholine injection. In the population studied, pretreatment did not prevent postoperative myalgia. Succinylcholine 1.5 was more effective without a non-depolarizing pretreatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Androstanols / administration & dosage*
  • Atracurium / administration & dosage
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fasciculation / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal
  • Isoquinolines / administration & dosage
  • Laparoscopy
  • Mivacurium
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Neuromuscular Blockade*
  • Neuromuscular Depolarizing Agents / adverse effects*
  • Neuromuscular Nondepolarizing Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Rocuronium
  • Succinylcholine / adverse effects*
  • Time Factors
  • Tubocurarine / administration & dosage
  • Vecuronium Bromide / administration & dosage


  • Androstanols
  • Isoquinolines
  • Neuromuscular Depolarizing Agents
  • Neuromuscular Nondepolarizing Agents
  • Atracurium
  • Mivacurium
  • Vecuronium Bromide
  • Succinylcholine
  • Tubocurarine
  • Rocuronium