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curare

Pronunciation: ku-rah're

Definition: An extract of various plants, especially Strychnos toxifera, S. castelnaei, S. crevauxii, and Chondodendron tomentosum, which produces nondepolarizing paralysis of skeletal muscle after intravenous injection by blocking transmission at the myoneuronal junction; indigenous South American hunters of the Amazon and Orinoco regions use arrowheads dipped in curare; curare is used clinically (as d-tubocurarine chloride, metocurine iodide) to relax muscles during surgery. Often classified by the types of vessels in which hunters stored it (pot curare).

Synonym(s): arrow poison1

[fr. urarr, Tupí (an indigenous S. Am. language)]

Further information

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.

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