Molecule of the Week

Pancuronium bromide

January 7, 2013

Pancuronium bromide, a muscle relaxant, was first prepared in 1967 by W. R. Buckett and co-workers, who published several papers on the drug. They designed it to mimic two acetylcholine molecules with rigidly spaced quaternary nitrogen atoms. It is used primarily as a neuromuscular blocking agent to relax muscles during surgery. It is also used in some US states as the second ingredient in the three-drug injection sequence for administering the death penalty—a use that some observers consider inhumane.

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