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Diagnosis and Treatment |

Drugs Five Years Later: Pancuronium Bromide

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Michael F. Roizen, M.D.; Department of Anesthesia, University of California, San Francisco; San Francisco, CA 94143.

Ann Intern Med. 1978;88(1):64-68. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-88-1-64
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Pancuronium bromide is a nondepolarizing muscle relaxant approved to induce skeletal muscle relaxation during anesthesia and to facilitate the management of patients undergoing mechanical ventilation. The use of pancuronium bromide during surgery led to the appreciation that it has advantages over drugs previously used for muscle relaxation. Patients in whom pancuronium bromide is of value are [1] hypoxemic patients resisting mechanical ventilation and so cardiovascularly unstable that use of sedatives is precluded, [2] patients with bronchospasm unresponsive to conventional therapy, [3] patients with severe tetanus or poisoning where muscle spasm prohibits adequate ventilation, [4] patients with status epilepticus unable to maintain their own ventilation, [5] shivering patients in whom metabolic demands for oxygen should be reduced, and [6] patients requiring tracheal intubation in whom succinylcholine administration is contraindicated. Without concomitant sedation, use of pancuronium bromide is associated with psychological risks. Other risks are undetected ventilator disconnection, tachyarrythmias, prolonged paralysis and drug interactions.







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