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Vecuronium

Molecule Description

Vecuronium is an intermediate-acting muscle relaxant that is generally used in anaesthetic procedures to pass a breathing tube into the lungs for direct respiration when the patient is unconscious. It belongs to a class of medicines called ‘neuromuscular blocking agents.’
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Uses of Vecuronium

  • Vecuronium is used as an additional agent in general anaesthesia (where anesthesia is given into blood through veins and breathing is facilitated by tube through the mouth into the lungs)
  • Its primary function is to relax the throat muscles so that a breathing tube can be easily inserted before surgery

Contraindications of Vecuronium

When should one not use Vecuronium

Known allergy to Vecuronium or any of the components of the medicine.

Side effects of Vecuronium

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Delayed recovery (higher than 30 minutes after surgery) from anaesthesia is a common side effect
  • Since this medicine is given in a hospital setting in the presence of qualified medical professionals, they will ensure that artificial respiration is discontinued after your airway becomes sufficiently potent
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  • Prolonged muscle weakness, decreased or no breathing are serious side effects, but rarely occur

Precautions and Warnings of Vecuronium

Pregnancy

Q:
Can I take Vecuronium during pregnancy?
A:
Enough data is not available. For this reason, Vecuronium must be used during pregnancy only if other alternatives are not available.

Breast Feeding

Q:
Can I take Vecuronium while breastfeeding?
A:
Due to a lack of safety data, Vecuronium should be given in breastfeeding mothers only if it cannot be substituted or avoided.

Driving

Q:
Can I drive if I have consumed Vecuronium?
A:
Vecuronium is given in a hospital setting and you are usually discharged after complete recovery from its effects. Exercise caution and consult a doctor if you experience any muscle weakness.

Alcohol

Q:
Can I consume alcohol with Vecuronium?
A:
It is unknown if Vecuronium interacts with alcohol but you are advised to avoid alcohol for some time before and after a procedure requiring general anaesthesia.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • Vecuronium should be used with caution in patients with a type of muscle weakness called myasthenia gravis as they require a smaller dose than usual
  • Make sure this medicine is administered under hospital and operating room conditions, where emergency facilities such as oxygen, artificial respiration, medications to reverse anaesthesia and trained staff are available
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  • Severe anaphylactic (allergic) reactions such as low blood pressure, weak pulse, breathing difficulty, rashes, vomiting were reported in few cases. Caution is advised

Mode of Action of Vecuronium

How Does It Work?

Vecuronium acts by blocking a substance (acetylcholine) that transmits signals from the nerves to the muscle (neurotransmitter). This will block the impulses from the nerves & thereby relaxes the muscles.
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Interactions of Vecuronium

Interactions with other medicines

  • Certain classes of anaesthesia medicines such as Thiobarbiturates (Thiopental, Methohexital) and central nervous system depressants (Midazolam) can increase the potency of Vecuronium and delay recovery
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  • A muscle relaxant called Dantrolene, which is used to treat stiff muscles, should be stopped before administering Vecuronium

Interactions with food items

Usually, general anaesthesia is given on an empty stomach.

Dietary Restrictions of Vecuronium

No information was available on dietary restrictions while taking Vecuronium. Consult the physician, pharmacist and nutritionist regarding nutritional instructions while taking Calcium Acetate.

Dosage of Vecuronium

Overdose

Excess amount of Vecuronium produces increased pharmacological action like skeletal muscle weakness, respiratory depression (reduced or no breathing). Generally, you are shifted out of the observation room only after the effects of anaesthesia are dissipated. But, in case you experience any of the above symptoms, seek medical attention without delay.
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Missed a Dose

This medicine is given in hospital and operational conditions by trained medical professionals.

Content Details

WRITTEN BY
doctor

Dr. Nikita Toshi

BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery)

REVIEWED BY
doctor

Dr. Ritu Budania

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

^

Q: Why is Vecuronium used? What are its benefits?

  • In patients undergoing surgery, types of anaesthesia differ based on the type, location and duration of operation – such as local, regional, spinal and general anaesthesia
  • General anaesthesia is usually given for major operations, where the patient is made unconscious. In this situation, he requires artificial breathing as the patient cannot breathe when unconscious; proper levels of oxygen are necessary in the blood to prevent any complications.
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  • So, a tube is passed through the mouth of a patient and the wind pipe (trachea) so that oxygen from the machine is directly delivered to the lungs of the patients. Passing the metal tube through the windpipe is a risky procedure and if it injures the trachea, it can prove to be fatal. Hence, Vecuronium is given before this procedure to relax the air way
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  • Compared to other medicines used for this purpose, Vecuronium has faster action. Relaxation of windpipe can be achieved within 2-3 minutes and hence, it is ideal for moderate emergency procedures also
  • The advantages such as easy reversibility of its effects, minimum requirement of heart and kidney functions and least likely to cause allergic reactions make Vecuronium a popular choice

Q: How long does it take to recover from Vecuronium after the surgery?

  • It usually depends on the type and duration of the surgery. Major and long duration surgeries may require more amounts of medicine and longer time to recover
  • Usually, recovery (from the effects of anesthesia) starts in 30 minutes, and full recovery is achieved in 1 hour. It also depends on other anaesthetics used, because some of them (Sevoflurane, Desflurane, Thiopental, Midazolam) increase the effects of Vecuronium and delay recovery
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  • In any case, make sure you are moved out of the observation room, only after you feel entirely comfortable
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)

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The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts. Please click here for detailed T&C.
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