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Atracurium is used for skeletal mucle relaxation during surgery.

How it works

Atracurium belongs to a class of medications called nondepolarizing (competitive) neuromuscular blockers. It interferes with the action of chemical substance (acetylcholine) in the body and cause skeletal muscle relaxation.

Common side effects

Bronchospasm, Decreased blood pressure, Skin flushing, Tachycardia, Urticaria, Wheezing


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Expert advice

  • Consult your doctor before taking atracurium if you any of the following medical conditions: myasthenia gravis (neuromuscular disease characterized by very weak muscles and unusual tiredness) or Eaton-Lambert syndrome (autoimmune disorder characterized by muscle weakness of limbs), electrolyte imbalance, cancer, allergy to other muscle relaxants, recent burn, asthma or other respiratory problems, heart disease, peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage causing pain, tingling, or numbness over hands and feet).
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding. 
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and do not drive or operate heavy machineries while taking atracurium.

Frequently asked questions


Q.Is atracurium an aminosteroid?
Atracurium is not an aminosteroid. It is a benzylisoquinolines (muscle relaxant)

Q.Why does atracurium cause hypotension?
Atracurium causes hypotension (low blood pressure) due to release of histamine

Q.Why does atracurium cause histamine release?
It acts on blood cells called basophils or mast cells which release histamine

Q.How long does atracurium take to work?
How long does atracurium last?Atracurium takes about 2-4 min to work and lasts for about 20-35 minutes.

Content on this page was last updated on 14 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)