Split-dose atropine versus glycopyrrolate with neostigmine for reversal of gallamine-induced neuromuscular blockade

J Wetterslev, I Jarnvig, L N Jørgensen, N V Olsen
Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica 1991, 35 (5): 398-401
The effects of a split-dose of atropine sulphate versus a single dose of glycopyrrolate given with neostigmine for the reversal of gallamine-induced neuromuscular blockade were studied in 55 patients undergoing gynaecological surgery. The patients were randomized to receive either a single dose of glycopyrrolate (7 or two doses of atropine (8 each), given with an interval of 1 min. There were no differences between the two methods with respect to percentage heart rate changes, salivation or arousal time. Four patients demonstrated cardiac arhythmias in the atropine group, whereas none occurred in the glycopyrrolate group (P less than 0.05). It is concluded that a split-dose of atropine has similar chronotropic effects to a single dose of glycopyrrolate for the reversal of gallamine-induced neuromuscular blockade. However, the finding of a higher incidence of cardiac arrhythmias in the atropine group suggests that this reversal regime should be reserved for patients without cardiac disease.

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