The history of neuromuscular blocking agents

Brian Pollard, H. H D J Booij

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Muscle relaxants play an important role in anaesthesia. Although the paralysing effect of some Indian poisons had been originally described in the 16th century, the active alkaloids of curare were only discovered early in the 20th century. The paralysing effect was first used for clinical purposes outside anaesthesia and surgery in the 18th century. When the possibility of synthetic production in larger quantities arose, curare and its many successors became part of the routine in general anaesthesia. Many synthetic compounds were developed and used in clinical practice, mainly belonging to the classes of steroidal and benzylisoquinoline derivatives. Many also disappeared after a short time, because of the numerous side effects. (C) 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-33
    Number of pages6
    JournalCurrent Anaesthesia and Critical Care
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2000


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