Objective: To review the evidence regarding the reversal of neuromuscular block (NMB) in companion animals with emphasis on the development and use of newer agents.
Database used: Data sources include scientific reviews and original research publications in both human and veterinary literature using Pubmed and Scopus as search data bases. Unpublished and locally published data on reversal of NMB are presented.
Conclusions: Residual NMB has been shown to increase morbidity and mortality in humans and needs to be avoided. It can be detected only by adequate neuromuscular monitoring. The proper use of reversal agents avoids residual NMB and recurarization should not occur. Anticholinesterase inhibitors, such as edrophonium and neostigmine have been used to reverse NMB when the need for this has been established. Reversal is influenced by several factors and a number of undesirable side- effects of these drugs have been reported. Sugammadex, a γ-cyclodextrin, which was designed specifically to encapsulate rocuronium, is more rapid in its actions, has fewer side effects and can reverse profound NMB induced by aminosteroidal muscle relaxants.