Rapacuronium Bromide: A Review of its Use in Anaesthetic Practice

Onrust, S.V.; Foster, R.H.
November 1999
Drugs;Nov1999, Vol. 58 Issue 5, p887
Academic Journal
Rapacuronium bromide (rapacuronium) is an aminosteroid, nondepolarising neuromuscular blocking agent (NMBA). At the recommended dose for endotracheal intubation (1.5 mg/kg), an intravenous bolus of rapacuronium has a rapid onset (≈1.2 to 1.8 minutes) and short duration of action (10.2 to 16.5 minutes) in adults undergoing elective surgery. Rapacuronium 1.5 mg/kg produced clinically acceptable intubating conditions in 68 to 89% of these patients at about 1 minute after administration. The onset, extent and duration of action and clinical efficacy of an intubating dose of rapacuronium appeared to be similar in the general adult population, adult patients with renal or hepatic dysfunction, patients undergoing Caesarean section, and elderly, paediatric or obese adult patients. Onset time with rapacuronium 1.3 to 2.5 mg/kg (0.9 to 1.8 minutes) was similar to or slower than that with a 1 mg/kg dose of the depolarising NMBA suxamethonium chloride (0.8 to 1.2 minutes). Intubating conditions were clinically acceptable about 1 minute after administration in 86 to 100% of patients with rapacuronium 1.3 to 2.5 mg/kg compared with in 88 to 97% of patients with suxamethonium chloride 1 or 1.5 mg/kg. Spontaneous recovery was slower with rapacuronium than with suxamethonium chloride, but neostigmine 0.04 or 0.05 mg/kg administered 2 or 5 minutes after rapacuronium 1.3 or 1.5 mg/kg accelerated recovery. In the few available comparative clinical trials, rapacuronium 1.5 mg/kg appeared to have a more rapid onset of action than the nondepolarising NMBAs mivacurium chloride 0.25 mg/kg, rocuronium bromide 0.45 or 0.6 mg/kg or vecuronium bromide 0.07 mg/kg, and a shorter duration of action than rocuronium bromide 0.45 or 0.6 mg/kg or vecuronium bromide 0.07 mg/kg. Additional boluses (≤3) of rapacuronium 0.5 or 0.55 mg/kg after an intubating bolus of 1.5 mg/kg provided continued skeletal muscle relaxation during short surgical procedures in adult patients. However, these patients may recover more slowly than those who receive a single bolus of the drug. Bronchospasm was the most common treatment-related adverse event with rapacuronium 0.3 to 3 mg/kg (3.4% of adult patients). Tachycardia, injection site reaction and hypotension were also reported in small proportions of patients (1.6, 1.1 and 0.9%). The overall incidence of drug-related adverse events was similar with rapacuronium 1.5 or 2.5 mg/kg or suxamethonium chloride 1 mg/kg (8 vs 6%) but bronchospasm, tachycardia and injection site reaction tended to occur more often with rapacuronium. Conclusions: At the recommended dose of 1.5 mg/kg, the nondepolarising NMBA rapacuronium has a rapid onset and short duration of action. It may provide a nondepolarising alternative to suxamethonium chloride for endotracheal intubation. Rapacuronium may be preferred over rocuronium bromide, vecuronium bromide or mivacurium chloride in this indication.



Read the Article

Courtesy of

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics