1 The pharmacokinetics of neostigmine was studied in six patients during the reversal of neuromuscular block induced by tubocurarine chloride. The effect of the drug on neuromuscular function was simultaneously assessed by electromyography. 2 Neostigmine was rapidly eliminated from plasma after intravenous administration. The decline in the plasma concentration of the drug was invariably resolved into two exponential components. The fast disposition (distribution) half-life of the drug wis invariably less than I min; the slow disposition (eliminition) half-life ranged from 15.4-31.7 min. 3 Neostigmine usually increased the amplitude of the compound muscle action potential and diminished electromyographic decrement within 2 min of intravenous injection. The pharmacological effect of neostigmine was usually maximal between 7 and 15 min. There was an inverse relationship between the plasma concentration of the drug and the facilitation of neuromuscular transmission. 4 Red cell acetylcholinesterase activity was almost completely inhibited within 2-3 min of intravenous injection of neostigmine. Enzyme activity recovered to approximately 28% of control values by 30 min and to 55% by 60 min.
- effects in man
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