A quaternary skeletal muscle relaxant usually used in the form of its bromide, chloride, or iodide. It is a depolarizing relaxant, acting in about 30 seconds and with a duration of effect averaging three to five minutes. Succinylcholine is used in surgical, anesthetic, and other procedures in which a brief period of muscle relaxation is called for. [PubChem]
Used in surgical procedures where a rapid onset and brief duration of muscle relaxation is needed (includes intubation, endoscopies, and ECT)
Succinylcholine is indicated as an adjunct to general anesthesia, to facilitate tracheal intubation, and to provide skeletal muscle relaxation during surgery or mechanical ventilation. Succinylcholine is a depolarizing skeletal muscle relaxant. As does acetylcholine, it combines with the cholinergic receptors of the motor end plate to produce depolarization. This depolarization may be observed as fasciculations. Subsequent neuromuscular transmission is inhibited so long as adequate concentration of succinylcholine remains at the receptor site. Succinylcholine has no direct action on the uterus or other smooth muscle structures.
Mechanism of action
The mechanism of action of Succinylcholine involves what appears to be a "persistent" depolarization of the neuromuscular junction. This depolarization is caused by Succinylcholine mimicking the effect of acetylcholine but without being rapidly hydrolysed by acetylcholinesterase. This depolarization leads to desensitization.