What is the dosage and shelf life of succinylcholine for use in tracheal intubation?

Updated: Jan 15, 2019
  • Author: Keith A Lafferty, MD; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Succinylcholine is available as a 20-mg/mL solution and can be stored for as long as 3 months at room temperature while maintaining 90% of its original activity (slightly more if protected from light). Therefore, to potentially lessen spontaneous degradation, succinylcholine should be located on an airway cart near the resuscitation bays and not far away in a remote refrigerator. Proper inventory ensures that it does not remain unused longer than 3 months. The dose is 1.5 mg/kg in adults and 2 mg/kg in children younger than 5 years. Muscle relaxation occurs in just 30 seconds, with total paralysis in 45 seconds. The duration of action is short, lasting 7-10 minutes.


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