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Br J Anaesth. 1994 Aug;73(2):194-8.

Influence of dose on suxamethonium-induced muscle damage.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0648.


We have examined postoperative muscle pain and early increases in serum concentrations of myoglobin after administration of suxamethonium to see if these changes were dependent on the dose of drug. Thirty ASA I and II adult patients undergoing day-case surgery received a standard anaesthetic technique, including one of three doses of suxamethonium: 0.5, 1.5 or 3.0 mg kg-1. The incidence of postoperative myalgia and the severity of fasciculations were greater after suxamethonium 1.5 mg kg-1 than after a dose of 0.5 or 3.0 mg kg-1. Serum concentrations of myoglobin increased in a dose-dependent manner. Intubating conditions were significantly better with suxamethonium 1.5 or 3.0 mg kg-1 than with 0.5 mg kg-1. Changes in serum concentrations of calcium and potassium were small and similar in the three groups. We conclude that a dose of 3.0 mg kg-1 of suxamethonium provided a better combination of intubating conditions and minimal postoperative myalgia than the two lower doses.

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