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Effect of ephedrine on the onset time of succinylcholine

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of ephedrine administered prior to induction of anaesthesia on the onset time of succinylcholine for endotracheal intubation. Methods: 

Patients were randomly assigned to receive intravenously (i.v.) either 70 µg kg−1 of ephedrine (Group I; n = 25) or saline (Group II; n = 25) 3 min before induction of anaesthesia. Induction of anaesthesia was provided with propofol 2 mg kg−1 plus remifentanil 1 µg kg−1. Onset time and duration of muscle fasciculation and onset time of succinylcholine were recorded. Intubation was attempted after establishment of 100% thumb relaxation and difficulties were recorded. Heart rate, pulse oxymetry (SpO2) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were also recorded. Results: 

The onset time of succinylcholine were significantly (P < 0.001) shorter in Group I (26 ± 4 s), when compared with Group II (43 ± 6 s). Patients in Group I were intubated at 49 ± 7 s compared with 68 ± 10 s in Group II. The score of intubation was similar in both groups. Duration of muscle fasciculation was longer in Group II. Heart rate and MAP increased significantly (P < 0.05) after ephedrine injection, compared with the baseline value in Group I. Conclusions: 

The onset time of succinylcholine can be shortened with ephedrine pretreatment.

Keywords: Ephedrine; onset time; rapid intubation; succinylcholine

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Anaesthesiology and Reanimation, Harran University Medical School, Sanliurfa, Turkey

Publication date: November 1, 2004

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