HOW DO NONDEPOLARIZING NEUROMUSCULAR BLOCKERS WORK?
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:
- Mechanical ventilation
- Surgical procedures
WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF NONDEPOLARIZING NEUROMUSCULAR BLOCKERS?
Nondepolarizing neuromuscular blockers can cause the following side effects:
- Skin flush
- Changes in heart rate
- Cardiac arrest
- Increased constriction of lung walls
- Muscle weakness
- Injection site edema
- Allergic reactions
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.
Pain Management Resources