Forty patients without eye disease, undergoing elective nonophthalmic surgery, were studied in a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study evaluating the efficacy of mivacurium pretreatment in attenuating the rise in intra-ocular pressure in response to suxamethonium administration, laryngoscopy and intubation. The patients were randomly allocated to receive either mivacurium 0.02 mg.kg-1 or normal saline as pretreatment 3 min before a rapid sequence induction technique using alfentanil, propofol and suxamethonium. Suxamethonium induced a significant increase in intra-ocular pressure in the control group but not in the mivacurium pretreatment group (mean (SEM) increase = 3.5 (1.2) mmHg vs. 0.4 (0.8) mmHg, p <0.05). There was a decrease in intra-ocular pressure in both groups after laryngoscopy and intubation with no significant difference between the two groups. These results show that mivacurium pretreatment is effective in preventing the increase in intra-ocular pressure after suxamethonium administration.