Neuromuscular Blockade – Part 2
There are two classes of neuromuscular blocking drugs that act via two separate pharmacological mechanisms – depolarizing and nondepolarizing.
Depolarizing agents act at the nerve endplate and bind to a receptor called the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. These drugs directly mimic the action of acetylcholine and depolarize the postjunctional endplate, which can not then respond to a subsequent release of acetylcholine. An example of a depolarizing neuromuscular blocker is succylcholine. Drugs in this class can not be “reversed” and once given the paralysis continues until the drug is eliminated from the body.
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