Appropriate Administration and Monitoring: Since Esmeron causes paralysis of the respiratory muscles, ventilatory support is mandatory for patients treated with this drug until adequate spontaneous respiration is restored. As with all neuromuscular blocking agents, it is important to anticipate intubation difficulties, particularly when used as part of a rapid sequence induction technique.
Residual Curarization: As with other neuromuscular blocking agents, residual curarization has been reported for Esmeron. In order to prevent complications resulting from residual curarization, it is recommended to extubate only after the patient has recovered sufficiently from neuromuscular block. Geriatric patients (65 years or older) may be at increased risk for residual neuromuscular block. Other factors which could cause residual curarization after extubation in the post-operative phase (such as drug interactions or patient condition) should also be considered. If not used as part of standard clinical practice, the use of a reversal agent should be considered, especially in those cases where residual curarization is more likely to occur.
Anaphylaxis: Anaphylactic reactions can occur following the administration of neuromuscular blocking agents. Precautions for treating such reactions should always be taken. Particularly in the case of previous anaphylactic reactions to neuromuscular blocking agents, special precautions should be taken since allergic cross-reactivity to neuromuscular blocking agents has been reported.
Long-Term Use in an Intensive Care Unit: In general, following long term use of neuromuscular blocking agents in the ICU, prolonged paralysis and/or skeletal muscle weakness has been noted. In order to help preclude possible prolongation of neuromuscular block and/or overdosage it is strongly recommended that neuromuscular transmission is monitored throughout the use of neuromuscular blocking agents. In addition, patients should receive adequate analgesia and sedation. Furthermore, neuromuscular blocking agents should be titrated to effect in the individual patients by or under supervision of experienced clinicians who are familiar with their actions and with appropriate neuromuscular monitoring techniques. Myopathy after long term administration of other non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking agents in the ICU in combination with corticosteroid therapy has been reported regularly. Therefore, for patients receiving both neuromuscular blocking agents and corticosteroids, the period of use of the neuromuscular blocking agent should be limited as much as possible.
Use with Suxamethonium: If suxamethonium is used for intubation, the administration of Esmeron should be delayed until the patient has clinically recovered from the neuromuscular block induced by suxamethonium.
Risk of Death due to Medication Errors: Administration of Esmeron results in paralysis, which may lead to respiratory arrest and death, a progression that may be more likely to occur in a patient for whom it is not intended. Confirm proper selection of intended product and avoid confusion with other injectable solutions that are present in critical care and other clinical settings. If another healthcare provider is administering the product, ensure that the intended dose is clearly labelled and communicated.
The following conditions may influence the pharmacokinetics and/or pharmacodynamics of Esmeron: Hepatic and/or biliary tract disease and renal failure: Because rocuronium is excreted in urine and bile, it should be used with caution in patients with clinically significant hepatic and/or biliary diseases and/or renal failure. In these patient groups prolongation of action has been observed with doses of 0.6 mg.kg-1 rocuronium bromide.
Prolonged circulation time: Conditions associated with prolonged circulation time such as cardiovascular disease, old age and oedematous state resulting in an increased volume of distribution, may contribute to a slower onset of action. The duration of action may also be prolonged due to a reduced plasma clearance.
Neuromuscular disease: Like other neuromuscular blocking agents, Esmeron should be used with extreme caution in patients with neuromuscular disease or after poliomyelitis since the response to neuromuscular blocking agents may be considerably altered in these cases. The magnitude and direction of this alteration may vary widely. In patients with myasthenia gravis or with the myasthenic (Eaton-Lambert) syndrome, small doses of Esmeron may have profound effects and Esmeron should be titrated to the response.
Hypothermia: In surgery under hypothermic conditions, the neuromuscular blocking effect of Esmeron is increased and the duration prolonged.
Obesity: Like other neuromuscular blocking agents, Esmeron may exhibit a prolonged duration and a prolonged spontaneous recovery in obese patients, when the administered doses are calculated on actual body weight.
Burns: Patients with burns are known to develop resistance to non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking agents. It is recommended that the dose is titrated to response.
Conditions which may increase the effects of Esmeron: Hypokalaemia (e.g. after severe vomiting, diarrhea and diuretic therapy), hypermagnesemia, hypocalcemia (after massive transfusions), hypoproteinemia, dehydration, acidosis, hypercapnia, cachexia.
Severe electrolyte disturbances, altered blood pH or dehydration should therefore be corrected when possible.
Effects on ability to drive and use machines: Since Esmeron is used as an adjunct to general anesthesia, the usual precautionary measures after a general anesthesia should be taken for ambulatory patients.