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Muscle Relaxants 

Muscle Relaxants
Chapter:
Muscle Relaxants
Author(s):

Mark Harbott

and Kaylani Govindan

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199381623.003.0015
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date: 22 August 2019

Neuromuscular blocking drugs, also referred to as muscle relaxants or paralytics, are a unique and diverse group of drugs that are commonly used in the practice of anesthesiology. These drugs can allow immediate and successful securement of the airway when intubating, and they also allow the anesthesiologist to provide a balanced anesthetic when combining this class of drug with volatile agents and parenteral analgesics. Understanding their pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics such as their time of onset and duration of action is essential for optimal use and safe practice. Additionally, this chapter introduces the reader to the classification of muscle relaxants as depolarizing or non-depolarizing as well as further sub-classification based on their molecular structure. This chapter reviews the underlying principles of muscle relaxant function and pharmacology.

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