Relative potency of vecuronium in male and female patients in Britain and Australia.

British Journal of Anaesthesia

PubMedID: 7906536

Semple P, Hope DA, Clyburn P, Rodbert A. Relative potency of vecuronium in male and female patients in Britain and Australia. Br J Anaesth. 1994;72(2):190-4.
We compared the potency of vecuronium when given to similar patients in Brisbane, Australia, and Cardiff, United Kingdom. Forty patients in each centre were anaesthetized using the same technique with propofol, fentanyl, nitrous oxide and vecuronium either 20 or 30 micrograms kg-1 by random allocation. Neuromuscular block was measured with similar Datex Relaxographs. There was no significant difference in potency between British and Australian patients. The ED50 and ED95 for a British male of average weight were 29.5 micrograms kg-1 (95% confidence limits 27.3-32.3 micrograms kg-1) and 51.3 micrograms kg-1 (44.3-63.9 micrograms kg-1), respectively. ED50 and ED95 for Australians were 5.5% greater, with confidence limits from 4% less to 17% greater. Females were significantly more sensitive to vecuronium than males, requiring 22% less drug to achieve the same degree of neuromuscular block (confidence limits 12-32%). The results are consistent with the ED50 being independent of body weight when the dose is expressed as microgram kg-2/3, but not as microgram or microgram kg-1.