Anticholinesterase Agents: An Odyssey
It would be wrong for us to discuss important elements of the history of neuromuscular blocking agents without simultaneously discussing anticholinesterase drugs. Not only are they important in medical therapy, but our understanding of the chemistry of myoneural transmission and Otto Loewi’s Nobel prize winning work would have been impossible without these agents. I believe there is no other group of drugs that has as interesting a past history and is as important to society as are anticholinesterases. It is estimated that without insecticides (most are anticholinesterase drugs) we would only able be to feed 25–30% of the world’s people. The history of these drugs is just as fascinating but more important to civilization than that of muscle relaxants.