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Pancuronium is used to muscles during various surgical procedures. It is also used to treat a life threatening condition called  status asthmaticus (a severe condition in which asthma attacks follow one another without pause).

How it works

Pancuronium belongs to the class of medications called non-depolarizing muscle blockers. It acts by temporarily blocking the signals from the nerves to the skeletal muscles thereby relaxing it.

Common side effects

Abdominal pain, Abnormal breathing, Allergic skin condition, Allergic skin rash, Altered heart rate, Increased saliva production, Increased blood pressure, Injection site irritation, Itching, Tachycardia, Vision impairment


Expert advice

  • Do not drive or use heavy machineries for 24 hours after full recovery from the muscle relaxant effects of pancuronium.
  • Take precautions if you have kidney, liver, lung and heart disease, high blood pressure, lung cancer, myasthenia gravis (neuromuscular disease characterized by very weak muscles and unusual tiredness) or other neuromuscular diseases, polio, fluid retention, jaundice.
  • Take special care if you are an elderly patient  or if you are dehydrated or in general poor health.
  • You will be regularly monitored for any blood abnormalities, such as altered calcium, magnesium, potassium and protein levels.
  • Inform  your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is pancuronium bromide painful?
Yes, pancuronium can cause injection site pain. Please follow your doctor's advice regarding its use.
Q. Does pancuronium cross the placenta?
Yes, pancuronium crosses placenta.
Q. Why does pancuronium cause tachycardia?
Pancuronium acts in the central nervous system to release chemicals like epinephrine and norepinephrine which stimulate heart and increases heart rate causing tachycardia.

Content on this page was last updated on 03 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)