WLMD ID: arcr

Since the early 1940s, anesthesiologists have used neuromuscular blocking agents, or muscle relaxants. The first studies of decamethonium bromide were published in 1948.  By the following year, a British pharmaceutical house, Burroughs Wellcome & Co., was marketing its Syncurine brand.

Decamethonium's advantages included short duration, quick recovery without the need for an antagonist agent, absence of histamine release, and compatibility with other drugs, notably the hypnotic agent thiopental. Early reports suggested that decamethonium's use did not require that the patient be placed on a ventilator; this finding was later shown to be incorrect. Also, it could be slow to take effect, and there was a wide variety of responses from one patient to the next. These experiences led to the agent's rapid fall from favor. It was replaced in anesthetic practice by succinylcholine.

In the late 1950s Burroughs Wellcome considered dropping Syncurine, but it continued to be used in animal research as late as the mid-1980s. The example shown here was made by the company's New York division between 1950 and 1970.

Catalog Record: Decamethonium Contact [email protected] for catalog record.