The Distribution of Procaine in Human Blood: Relation to Potentiation of Succinylcholine

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Results of previous studies on human subjects have suggested that the interaction of procaine and succinylcholine might be explained by the distribution of the drugs among three compartments, each drug entering only two compartments and sharing one in common. Two of the compartments have been shown to be the neuromuscular junction (open to succinylcholine only) and plasma (open to both succinylcholine and procaine). The present study indicates that the red blood cells represent the remaining compartment (open to procaine only). When the capacity of the latter compartment is saturated, the excess procaine results in a dose-response curve measurable by respiratory depression in the rat Succinylcholine is not hydrolyzed in this compartment This parallels the findings in roan and fits the three-compartment model previously hypothesized.

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