Vecuronium is a bisquaternary nitrogen compound that acts by competitively binding to nicotinic cholinergic receptors. The binding of vecuronium decreases the opportunity for acetylcholine to bind to the nicotinic receptor at the postjunctional membrane of the myoneural junction. As a result, depolarization is prevented, calcium ions are not released and muscle contraction does not occur.
The principal pharmacologic effects demonstrated by vecuronium revolve around its competitive binding of cholinergic receptors located at motor end plates. This competitive binding results in muscle relaxant effects that are typically employed as an adjunct to general anesthesia.