• Shou-Bao Wang
  • Xiu-Ying Yang
  • Guan-Hua DuEmail author


Tubocurarine is a kind of alkaloid isolated from various plant extract alkaloid arrow poisons which has a common name curare. The active dextrorotatory form was first purified by R. Boehm in 1879. It was first used in clinical practice in 1942, and it was the first typical non-depolarizing muscle relaxant. It binds the N2 cholinergic receptor on the motor nerve endplate and competitively blocks ACh-mediated depolarization, thus relaxing skeletal muscle. The drug is difficult to absorb under oral administration. For the intravenous injection, it is clinically used for anesthesia adjuvant drugs such as tracheal intubation and thoracoabdominal surgery. This drug also blocks ganglion and the release of histamine, causing a decline in heart rate and blood pressure, bronchial spasm, increased saliva secretion, etc. Artificial respiration and use of neostigmine are needed when large doses cause respiratory muscle paralysis. Due to the limitations of its plant source and more adverse reactions, this drug is now less used.


Tubocurarine Cissampelosime methiodide Non depolarizing muscle relaxant N2 cholinergic receptor 


  1. 1.
    Griffith HR, Johnson GE. The use of curare in general anesthesia. Anesthesiology. 1942;3(4):418–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gray TC, Halton J. Technique for the use of d-tubocurarine chloride with balanced anaesthesia. Br Med J. 1946;2:293–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Shanghai Pharmaceutical Industry Research Institute, Haikou, Hainan Province, Guangdong Province, Haikou Hospital. Chloride left arrow poisoning trial production. China Med Ind J. 1979;5:22–41.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Zhiqiang M, Miao M, Suzhen Z, et al. Application of new Dai muscle relaxation clinical observation. Kunming Med Coll J. 1981;3–4:26–8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. and People's Medical Publishing House, PR of China 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Key Laboratory of Drug Targets Identification and Drug Screening, National Centre for Pharmaceutical ScreeningInstitute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations