Interaction of gentamycin and atracurium in anaesthetised horses

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Evoked hind limb digital extensor tension (hoof twitch) was maintained at 40% of baseline for 1 h by atracurium infusion in 7 horses anaesthetised with halothane. After 1 h, atracurium was discontinued and hoof twitch allowed to recover to 75%. Atracurium was again given by infusion to maintain 40% twitch for a second hour, then 2 mg gentamycin/kg bwt were given i.v. Atracurium infusion was continued for a third hour, and then hoof twitch was again allowed to recover spontaneously to 75%. Gentamycin reduced twitch strength from 40 ± 1% (mean ± sem) to 29 ± 4% within 7.0 ± 1.5 min (P = 0.02). Twitch gradually returned to pre‐gentamycin strength over the course of the next hour. Recovery of hoof twitch from 50% to 75% took 7.7 ± 0.7 min for atracurium alone and 11.5 ± 2.7 min for atracurium plus gentamycin (P = 0.03). Recovery from 50% twitch to 75% fade recovery took 13.8 ± 0.8 min for atracurium alone and 13.7 ± 1.2 min for atracurium plus gentamycin. At 75% recovery of fade, hoof twitch was 87 ± 3% for atracurium alone and 82 ± 4% for atracurium plus gentamycin. Reversal of the block with edrophonium and subsequent recovery of the horses from anaesthesia were uneventful. It was concluded that, although gentamycin did augment the neuromuscular blockade of atracurium, the effect was minimal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-211
Number of pages3
JournalEquine Veterinary Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • anaesthesia
  • antibiotics
  • horse
  • muscle relaxants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Equine


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