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News From the Food and Drug Administration
February 2, 2016

Reversing Drug-Induced Paralysis

JAMA. 2016;315(5):456. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.19422

The FDA has approved sugammadex, marketed as Bridion, to reverse the effects of neuromuscular blockade induced during certain types of surgery by rocuronium bromide and vecuronium bromide.

The 2 neuromuscular blocking drugs cause temporary paralysis by interfering with nerve impulse transmission to muscles. They’re used to paralyze the vocal chords during tracheal intubation and to prevent patients from moving during surgery while they receive general anesthesia. Sometimes neuromuscular blocking drugs are used to prevent the body from breathing automatically when a patient is placed on a ventilator.

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