Composed of two acetylcholine molecules joined at the acetate methyl group.
Bind to nicotinic receptors, resulting in depolarization with opening of voltage-gated channels and muscle contraction. Voltage-gated sodium channels then close and are inactivated, while the membrane remains depolarized.
Suxamethonium is not metabolized by acetylcholinesterase and therefore membrane depolarization is prolonged, resulting in prolonged inactivation of sodium channels and muscle relaxation.
As the membrane remains depolarized, no further acetylcholine molecules are able to produce further depolarization.
Onset 30-60 seconds
Duration 10 minutes
Relaxation of skeletal muscle for periods of brief anaesthesia such as for:
Short surgical procedures
Myopathies – including muscular dystrophy and rhabdomyolysis