Pipecuronium is used in general anesthesia for the relaxation of the skeletal muscles and to facilitate tracheal intubation. It is characterized by a long duration of action.


What is Pipecuronium?


Pipecuronium is an anticholinergic drug (i.e. it causes the opposite effects to those of acetylcholine and thus capable of blocking nerve impulse conduction to the motor fibers that innervate the striated muscles) with a neuromuscular blocking action. It has a long span of action.


This drug is only part of the group of "competitive, non-depolarizing, neuromuscular blocking agents". In addition to pipecuronium, other drugs that are part of this group include tubocurarine (which is the founder of the non-depolarizing muscle relaxants), alcuronium, the gallamine triethiodide, metocurine, pancuronium, atracurium, cisatracurium, as well as vecuronium.

In turn, the non-depolarizing neuromuscular blockers are chemically divisible into two categories, steroids (Rocuronium, Rapacuronium, Pipecuronium, Pancuronium, Vecuronium) and isoquinoline derivatives (tubocurarine, doxacurium, atracurium, cisatracurium, mivacurium).


How should Pipecuronium be taken?


Pipecuronium is commercially available in the form of solution for injections, specifically designed ​​for intravenous (bolus injection or continuous infusion). As is the case for other competitive non-depolarizing, neuromuscular blocking drugs, the pipecuronium is inactive when taken orally.


Side effects associated with Pipecuronium


There are several adverse effects that may arise from the use of Pipecuronio:


  • General disorders: allergic reactions;
  • Cardiovascular disorders: hypotension, hypertension, tachycardia, and bradycardia;
  • Respiratory disorders: dyspnea, bronchospasm, laryngospasm, and asthma;
  • Musculoskeletal disorders: muscle weakness;
  • Dermatological disorders: rash, urticaria, and reactions at the injection site


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Pipecuronium


Particular attention should be paid to the administration of this drug in patients with known or suspected hypersensitivity to the product. This medication is used only in hospitals or in similar facilities, and therefore, it is forbidden to sell it to the general public.

Similar to all other neuromuscular blocking agents, the dosage of pipecuronium should be individualized for each patient. Moreover, it is important to use caution when administering this drug in pregnant and lactating women, and the administration should not be performed without express judgment of the treating physician.