Drugs that affect skeletal muscle function can be divided into several therapeutic categories. Some are used during surgical procedures to produce paralysis (neuromuscular blocking agents); others reduce spasticity (skeletal muscle relaxants) associated with various neurologic and musculoskeletal conditions. In addition, several therapeutic agents influence metabolic and other processes in skeletal muscle, including the nutrients required for normal muscle function used to prevent or mitigate degenerative muscular conditions (eg, selenium and vitamin E to prevent or treat muscular dystrophies such as nutritional myodegeneration Nutritional Myodegeneration Young Boer goat kid with white muscle disease. The patient can move its legs normally but is too weak to stand. CK and AST concentrations were elevated on serum biochemical evaluation. The goat... read more ). Anabolic steroids, corticosteroids, NSAIDs, and various other anti-inflammatory agents (eg, dimethyl sulfoxide) are also used to treat acute and chronic conditions involving skeletal muscle.
The clinical pharmacology of the neuromuscular blocking agents Neuromuscular Blocking Agentsfor Animals The peripherally acting skeletal muscle relaxants characteristically interfere with the transmission of impulses from motor nerves to skeletal muscle fibers at the neuromuscular junction, thus... read more , skeletal muscle relaxants Skeletal Muscle Relaxantsfor Animals Muscle spasticity is a characteristic of many clinical conditions, including trauma, myositis, muscular and ligamentous sprains and strains, intervertebral disc disease, tetanus, strychnine... read more , and anabolic steroids Anabolic Steroidsfor Animals Anabolic steroids promote muscle growth and development and are administered in select cases in which serious muscle deterioration has developed as a complication of a primary disease syndrome... read more are discussed next. (Also see anti-inflammatory agents Inflammation read more .)