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The Cyclodextrin Sugammadex and Anaphylaxis to Rocuronium: Is Rocuronium Still Potentially Allergenic in the Inclusion Complex Form?

[ Vol. 12 , Issue. 8 ]


B. A. Baldo, N. J. McDonnell and N. H. Pham   Pages 701 - 712 ( 12 )


Rocuronium, a non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking drug has a rapid onset of action, a comparatively low potency and, with a more favourable side effects profile than succinylcholine, it has become a popular alternative to that drug for rapid sequence inductions in anaesthesia. The rocuronium-binding cyclodextrin derivative sugammadex, prepared by per-6 substitution of the primary hydroxyls of γ-cyclodextrin with thiol ether-linked propionic acid side chains to extend the hydrophobic cavity to accommodate rocuronium, is used to reverse neuromuscular blockade by encapsulating the drug as an inclusion complex and removing it from the neuromuscular junction to the plasma. It has recently been suggested that sugammadex might also be of value in the management of rocuronium-induced anaphylaxis and this has been potentially supported by recent case reports. However, before sugammadex can be recommended for this purpose, it is important to establish whether or not the allergenic substituted ammonium groups at each end of the rocuronium molecule in the inclusion complex are masked within the cavity or left exposed for interaction with rocuronium-reactive IgE antibodies in the sera of rocuronium-allergic patients. Detailed experimental strategies and experimental protocols to investigate the allergenic potential of the sugammadex-rocuronium inclusion complex are presented and a possible explanation of the apparently rapid and successful reversal of anaphylaxis by administration of sugammadex is advanced and discussed.


Sugammadex, perioperative anaphylaxis, cyclodextrins, drug allergy, rocuronium, drug-specific IgE.


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