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Rapacuronium is a rapid-onset, short-acting neuromuscular relaxant. This multiple-center study determined neuromuscular recovery when neostigmine was given 2 or 5 min after rapacuronium.One hundred seventeen patients were randomized to receive two different of rapacuronium and to receive neostigmine in two different does and at two different times. During propofol anesthesia with nitrous oxide, oxygen, and fentanyl, 1.5 or 2.5 mg/kg rapacuronium was given 1 min before tracheal intubation. Neuromuscular block was measured by train-of-four ulnar nerve stimulation every 12 s: The adductor pollicis force of contraction was recorded mechanomyographically. Two or five minutes after rapacuronium was administered, 0.05 or 0.07 mg/kg neostigmine was administered and recovery was compared with that of control patients who received no neostigmine.Both doses of rapacuronium produced 100% block in all but one patient, who exhibited 97% block. Neostigmine accelerated recovery in all groups. After 1.5 mg/kg rapacuronium, the time to 25% T1 twitch recovery decreased from a mean of 16 min in control patients to mean values of 8–10 min in the treatment groups: The time to train-of-four ratio of 0.7 decreased from 38 min to 17–19 min. After 2.5 mg/kg rapacuronium, the time to 25% T1 was reduced from 23 min to 11–12 min, and the time to train-of-four ratio of 0.7 decreased from 54 min to 26–32 min. Recovery was not different among the groups that received different doses and timing of neostigmine.Recovery of intense rapacuronium block was accelerated by early neostigmine administration. When given 2 min after rapacuronium, neostigmine was as effective as after 5 min, and 0.05 mg/kg neostigmine was comparable to 0.07 mg/kg neostigmine.