Question 13

Compare and contrast the pharmacology of suxamethonium and rocuronium.

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College Answer

Suxamethonium is a level 1 drug and therefore requires a detailed knowledge of the drug from a PK and PD perspective as well as consideration of important side effects and considerations when used.

The examiners commented that a table structure with the structured pharmacology headings and clear concise facts was the best way to approach this question. Answers that scored poorly often displayed incorrect facts, limited appreciation of side effects and vague statements on the pharmacological particularities of this drug. For example, muscle relaxants are major culprits for anaphylaxis in hospitals, and nuanced facts about this were generally missing from candidate’s answers.