Suxamethonium: Supply issue
Suxamethonium is a medication used to cause short-term paralysis as part of general anesthesia. It is primarily used for emergency/crash intubations.
Suxamethonium chloride injection is in short supply in Aotearoa New Zealand. We now consider it unlikely that there will be an out of stock of this critical medicine. There is still a short supply of suxamethonium but there is product in the country and further deliveries are scheduled.
Conserving suxamethonium injection supplies
We ask that clinicians:
- use alternatives to suxamethonium where clinically appropriate
- prepare for the need to use unapproved suxamethonium injections (in accordance with section 29 of the Medicines Act)
- share with us ways you and your colleagues are conserving suxamethonium, so that we can share these ideas with others where appropriate
- do not stockpile suxamethonium injection, this will impact on equitable access to stock across Aotearoa New Zealand and makes it very difficult for suppliers and PHARMAC to forecast future demand.
The Critical Care Advisory Group (CCAG) has advised us that alternatives that to suxamethonium chloride include:
- atracurium besylate
- vecuronium bromide
- pancuronium bromide.
Who to contact
If you have suggestions about ways to conserve suxamethonium, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated: 6 July 2020