Spinal Cord Trauma and Related Diseases Medication

Updated: Dec 28, 2015
  • Author: Francisco de Assis Aquino Gondim, MD, PhD, MSc, FAAN; Chief Editor: Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Medication

Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and prevent complications.

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Corticosteroids

Class Summary

Have both anti-inflammatory (glucocorticoid) and salt-retaining (mineralocorticoid) properties. Glucocorticoids have profound and varied metabolic effects. In addition, these agents modify the body's immune response to diverse stimuli.

A multicenter study demonstrated improved neurologic outcome, possibly by preventing the cascade of inflammatory events following SCI.

Methylprednisolone (Adlone, Depo-Medrol, Medrol, Solu-Medrol)

Decreases inflammation by suppressing migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reversing increased capillary permeability.

Dexamethasone (AK-Dex, Baldex, Decadron)

For various inflammatory diseases. Decreases inflammation by suppressing migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reducing capillary permeability.

For spinal tumors causing mass effect, a few anecdotal protocols use dexamethasone in high doses of 10-100 mg IV followed by 6-10 mg IV q6h for 24 h, potentially tapered IV or PO over 1-3 wk.

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