New Concepts of the Action of Muscle Relaxants

  • S. A. Feldman
Part of the Boerhaave Series for Postgraduate Medical Education book series (BSPM, volume 7)


Just over 225 years ago, de la Condamine (1) set out on a voyage of exploration to Equador. When he returned from his journey he brought back to Leiden a specimen of the South American arrow poison, curare. Subsequently, the Abbé Fontana (1785) used this specimen to perform the earliest recorded pharmacological experiments with this drug. He demonstrated it was harmless if taken orally or inhaled, but poisonous if injected through broken skin. This was the very beginning of research into the pharmacodynamics of the muscle relaxants. This is the story which I intend to pursue in this presentation in an effort to relate pharmacology to clinical experience in the hope that there will emerge a rational basis for our use of these drugs.


Muscle Relaxant Ulnar Nerve Receptor Site Receptor Occupancy Peak Plasma Level 
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© Leiden University Press, Leiden, The Netherlands 1972

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  • S. A. Feldman

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