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Succinylcholine (suxamethonium): Patient drug information

Succinylcholine (suxamethonium): Patient drug information

(For additional information see "Succinylcholine (suxamethonium): Drug information" and see "Succinylcholine (suxamethonium): Pediatric drug information")

You must carefully read the "Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer" below in order to understand and correctly use this information.

Brand Names: US
  • Anectine;
  • Quelicin
Brand Names: Canada
  • Quelicin Chloride
  • Severe and sometimes deadly muscle problems, high potassium levels, a heartbeat that is not normal, and heart attack have rarely happened with this drug in children and teenagers. These children and teenagers were found to have certain muscle problems like Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (DMD). If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
What is this drug used for?
  • It is used to relax muscles while on a breathing machine or during surgery.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?
  • If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you have muscle problems.
  • If you or a family member has had a certain health problem called malignant hyperthermia, or if you are at risk for having this health problem.
  • If you have had a recent burn, nerve injury, or other injury.
  • This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?
  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Long-term paralysis and muscle weakness have happened when this type of drug was given for a long time. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
  • If the patient is a child, use this drug with care. The risk of side effects may be higher in some children.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
  • WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat. Rarely, some allergic reactions have been deadly.
  • Signs of high potassium levels like a heartbeat that does not feel normal; feeling confused; feeling weak, lightheaded, or dizzy; feeling like passing out; numbness or tingling; or shortness of breath.
  • Signs of high or low blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Fast, slow, or abnormal heartbeat.
  • Muscle pain or weakness, dark urine, or trouble passing urine.
  • Twitching.
  • Change in eyesight or eye pain.
  • Drooling.
  • This drug may cause a severe and sometimes deadly problem called malignant hyperthermia. Call your doctor right away if you have a fast or abnormal heartbeat, fast breathing, fever, spasm or stiffness of the jaw muscles, blue or gray skin, patchy skin, or unexplained bruising or bleeding. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
  • All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.
  • These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
  • You may report side effects to your national health agency.
How is this drug best taken?
  • Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
  • It is given as a shot into a muscle or vein.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
  • This drug will be given on an as needed basis in a health care setting.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
  • This injection will be given to you in a healthcare setting. You will not store it at home.
General drug facts
  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Last Reviewed Date2022-10-07
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
  • This generalized information is a limited summary of diagnosis, treatment, and/or medication information. It is not meant to be comprehensive and should be used as a tool to help the user understand and/or assess potential diagnostic and treatment options. It does NOT include all information about conditions, treatments, medications, side effects, or risks that may apply to a specific patient. It is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for the medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a health care provider based on the health care provider's examination and assessment of a patient's specific and unique circumstances. Patients must speak with a health care provider for complete information about their health, medical questions, and treatment options, including any risks or benefits regarding use of medications. This information does not endorse any treatments or medications as safe, effective, or approved for treating a specific patient. UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates disclaim any warranty or liability relating to this information or the use thereof. The use of this information is governed by the Terms of Use, available at
  • © 2023 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.
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