Medications to Treat the Muscular System: Terminology Video

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  • 00:00 Muscles and Medications
  • 00:18 Anticholinergics
  • 1:21 Skeletal Muscle Relaxants
  • 2:17 Neuromuscular Blockers
  • 3:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
There are several reasons you may need to take a muscle relaxer for the different muscles in your body. Let's go over some examples of the drugs used to relax the different types of muscles in the human body.

Muscles and Medications

Today, you're going to meet several people. They come from all walks of life and have all sorts of different problems. One thing they have in common is their use of medications that affect different types of muscles that make up the body. Without further delays, let's get to the major classes of these medications.


Lauren is going into surgery today. Don't ask why or for what. Medical privacy laws prohibit me from disclosing it. What I can tell you is that the surgery will be performed on her stomach. Whoops! My bad. I smell a lawsuit.

Who am I kidding? Lauren is a fictional character. Anyway….

About two weeks ago, Lauren felt a sharp pain in her stomach area. After examination, the doctor says she needs gastric surgery. This means she's going to have surgery on her stomach, since 'gastral' is a prefix that denotes the stomach. During some procedures we want the smooth muscles of the stomach to relax.

Today, Lauren will get an anticholinergic drug for this very reason. Anticholinergic drugs are thus, among other functions, medications that help relax smooth muscles. One very famous example of an anticholinergic drug that I want you to remember the name of is Atropine. One cool fact is that it's a drug that has been around in one form or another for thousands of years.

Skeletal Muscle Relaxants

Now I don't want to leave out skeletal muscles, either. These guys need to relax sometimes as well.

Meet Bob. Poor, old Bob. Bob has a lot of problems, but one that he has been complaining to his doctor about for quite awhile is that he suffers from constant muscle spasms and associated pain. His skeletal muscles just need to 'chill-ax' a bit, yo.

How do we get these skeletal muscles to take a chill-pill? Well, we give Bob a skeletal muscle chill-pill, a skeletal muscle relaxant. This is a drug that is given to a patient in order to relieve stiff or painful skeletal muscles. Skeletal muscles are the muscles that help you move, like the ones attached to the bones of your legs, arms and torso. These muscles include the likes of quads, biceps, deltoids and pecs. One pretty common skeletal muscle relaxant I want you to remember has the name of Methocarbamol.

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