How Do Nondepolarizing Neuromuscular Blockers Work?

Reviewed on 7/27/2021

HOW DO NONDEPOLARIZING NEUROMUSCULAR BLOCKERS WORK?

Nondepolarizing neuromuscular blockers are drugs used to induce anesthesia and relax skeletal muscles (paralysis) during intubation, mechanical ventilation, and surgical procedures.

Neuromuscular blockers prevent the action of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, thereby preventing skeletal muscle contraction. A neuromuscular junction is a site of chemical communication between a nerve fiber and muscle cell.

Skeletal muscle contraction requires the brain to send a signal in the form of an action potential that stimulates the release of acetylcholine from the acetylcholine receptors in the neuromuscular junction. This causes the muscles to contract.

Nondepolarizing neuromuscular blockers compete with acetylcholine to bind to the acetylcholine receptors, thereby preventing acetylcholine binding. As a result, there is no generation of action potential and muscle contraction.

HOW ARE NONDEPOLARIZING NEUROMUSCULAR BLOCKERS USED?

Nondepolarizing neuromuscular blockers are used to induce anesthesia and relax skeletal muscles during:

  • Intubation
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Surgical procedures

WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF NONDEPOLARIZING NEUROMUSCULAR BLOCKERS?

Nondepolarizing neuromuscular blockers can cause the following side effects:

The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

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WHAT ARE NAMES OF NONDEPOLARIZING NEUROMUSCULAR BLOCKERS?

Generic and brand names of nondepolarizing neuromuscular blockers include:

References
https://reference.medscape.com/drugs/neuromuscular-blockers-nondepolarizing

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532996/

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