QUELICIN (Page 3 of 5)

5.9 Risk of Prolonged Neuromuscular Block in Patients with Reduced Plasma Cholinesterase Activity

QUELICIN is not recommended in patients with known reduced plasma cholinesterase (pseudocholinesterase) activity due to the likelihood of prolonged neuromuscular block following administration of QUELICIN in such patients.

Plasma cholinesterase activity may be diminished in the presence of genetic abnormalities of plasma cholinesterase (e.g., patients heterozygous or homozygous for atypical plasma cholinesterase gene), pregnancy, severe liver or kidney disease, malignant tumors, infections, burns, anemia, decompensated heart disease, peptic ulcer, or myxedema. Plasma cholinesterase activity may also be diminished by chronic administration of oral contraceptives, glucocorticoids, or certain monoamine oxidase inhibitors and by irreversible inhibitors of plasma cholinesterase (e.g., organophosphate insecticides, echothiophate, and certain antineoplastic drugs) [see Drug Interactions (7.1)].

Patients homozygous for atypical plasma cholinesterase gene (1 in 2,500 patients) are extremely sensitive to the neuromuscular blocking effect of succinylcholine. If QUELICIN is administered to a patient homozygous for atypical plasma cholinesterase, resulting apnea or prolonged muscle paralysis should be treated with controlled respiration.

5.10 Risk of Additional Trauma in Patients With Fractures or Muscle Spasms

QUELICIN should be employed with caution in patients with fractures or muscle spasm because the initial muscle fasciculations may cause additional trauma. Monitor neuromuscular transmission and the development of fasciculations throughout the use of neuromuscular blocking agents.

5.11 Increase in Intracranial Pressure

QUELICIN may cause a transient increase in intracranial pressure; however, adequate anesthetic induction prior to administration of QUELICIN will minimize this effect.

5.12 Risk of Aspiration due to Increase in Intragastric Pressure

Succinylcholine may increase intragastric pressure, which could result in regurgitation and possible aspiration of stomach contents. Evaluate patients at risk for aspiration and regurgitation. Monitor patients during induction of anesthesia and neuromuscular blockade for clinical signs of vomiting and/or aspiration.

5.13 Prolonged Neuromuscular Block in Patients with Hypokalemia or Hypocalcemia

Neuromuscular blockade may be prolonged in patients with hypokalemia (e.g., after severe vomiting, diarrhea, digitalisation and diuretic therapy) or hypocalcemia (e.g., after massive transfusions). Correct severe electrolyte disturbances when possible. In order to help preclude possible prolongation of neuromuscular block, monitor neuromuscular transmission throughout the use of QUELICIN.

5.14 Risks due to Inadequate Anesthesia

Neuromuscular blockade in the conscious patient can lead to distress. Use QUELICIN in the presence of appropriate sedation or general anesthesia. Monitor patients to ensure that the level of anesthesia is adequate. In emergency situations, however, it may be necessary to administer QUELICIN before unconsciousness is induced.


The following clinically significant adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

The following adverse reactions associated with the use of succinylcholine were identified in clinical studies or postmarketing reports. Because some of these reactions were reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure:

Cardiovascular disorders: Cardiac arrest, arrhythmias, bradycardia, tachycardia, hypertension, hypotension

Electrolyte disorders: Hyperkalemia

Eye disorders: Increased intraocular pressure

Gastrointestinal disorders: Excessive salivation

Immune system disorders: Hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis (in some cases life-threatening and fatal)

Musculoskeletal disorders: Malignant hyperthermia, rhabdomyolysis with possible myoglobinuric acute renal failure, muscle fasciculation, jaw rigidity, postoperative muscle pain

Respiratory disorders: Prolonged respiratory depression or apnea

Skin disorders: Rash


7.1 Drugs that May Affect the Neuromuscular Blocking Action of QUELICIN

Drugs that may enhance the neuromuscular blocking action of succinylcholine include: promazine, oxytocin, aprotinin, certain non-penicillin antibiotics, quinidine, β-adrenergic blockers, procainamide, lidocaine, trimethaphan, lithium carbonate, magnesium salts, quinine, chloroquine, isoflurane, desflurane, metoclopramide, and terbutaline.

The neuromuscular blocking effect of succinylcholine may be enhanced by drugs that reduce plasma cholinesterase activity (e.g., chronically administered oral contraceptives, glucocorticoids, or certain monoamine oxidase inhibitors) or by drugs that irreversibly inhibit plasma cholinesterase [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)].

If other neuromuscular blocking agents are to be used during the same procedure, consider the possibility of a synergistic or antagonistic effect.


8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary

Available data from published literature from case reports and case series over decades of use with succinylcholine during pregnancy have not identified a drug-associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. Succinylcholine is used commonly during delivery by caesarean section to provide muscle relaxation. If succinylcholine is used during labor and delivery, there is a risk for prolonged apnea in some pregnant women (see Clinical Considerations). Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with succinylcholine chloride.

The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2–4% and 15–20%, respectively.

Clinical Considerations

Maternal Adverse Reactions

Plasma cholinesterase levels are decreased by approximately 24% during pregnancy and for several days postpartum which can prolong the effect of succinylcholine. Therefore, some pregnant patients may experience prolonged apnea.

Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions

Apnea and flaccidity may occur in the newborn after repeated high doses to, or in the presence of atypical plasma cholinesterase in, the mother.

Labor or Delivery

Succinylcholine is commonly used to provide muscle relaxation during delivery by caesarean section. Succinylcholine is known to cross the placental barrier in an amount that is dependent on the concentration gradient between the maternal and fetal circulation.

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

There are no data on the presence of succinylcholine or its metabolite in either human or animal milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for QUELICIN and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from QUELICIN or from the underlying maternal condition.

All MedLibrary.org resources are included in as near-original form as possible, meaning that the information from the original provider has been rendered here with only typographical or stylistic modifications and not with any substantive alterations of content, meaning or intent.

This site is provided for educational and informational purposes only, in accordance with our Terms of Use, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner or other qualified health professional.

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2022. All Rights Reserved.