From Dog

Atracurium is a neuromuscular-blocking drug or skeletal muscle relaxant in the category of non-depolarizing neuromuscular-blocking drugs[1].

It is used adjunctively in general anesthesia with drugs such as propofol and sevoflurane[2] to facilitate artificial ventilation[3].

Onset of neuromuscular blockade is within 5 minutes and duration of action persists for up to 40 minutes[4].

This drug has minimal effects on systemic arterial blood pressure or intraocular pressure[5].

Dogs with Duchenne muscular dystrophy may present with arrhythmias and cardiomyopathy and this drug could precipitate acute cardiac failure and should be avoided[6].

Recommended dose rate in dogs is 0.1 - 0.3 mg/kg[7], given intravenously.


  1. Goldman E et al (1999) Influence of atracurium on the diaphragm mean action potential conduction velocity in canines. Anesthesiology 90(3):855-862
  2. Kastrup MR et al (2005) Neuromuscular blocking properties of atracurium during sevoflurane or propofol anaesthesia in dogs. Vet Anaesth Analg 32(4):222-227
  3. Belda E et al (2012) The effects of atracurium on bispectral index (BIS) values in dogs anaesthetized with isoflurane. Vet J 192(2):189-192
  4. Adams WA et al (2006) cis-Atracurium in dogs with and without porto-systemic shunts. Vet Anaesth Analg 33(1):17-23
  5. McMurphy RM et al (2004) Effects of atracurium on intraocular pressure, eye position, and blood pressure in eucapnic and hypocapnic isoflurane-anesthetized dogs. Am J Vet Res 65(2):179-182
  6. Staffieri F et al (2011) Increases in heart rate and systolic blood pressure in anesthetized dogs affected with X-linked muscular dystrophy after cisatracurium administration: a retrospective study. Paediatr Anaesth 21(8):900-906
  7. Braun C et al (2007) Effects of diazepam or lidocaine premedication on propofol induction and cardiovascular parameters in dogs. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 43(1):8-12