Over the past 30 years, treatment of acute spinal cord injuries has typically involved high doses of the steroid methylprednisolone
Spinal cord injuries can be devastating, and disability often renders patients unable to live independently. So it is critical that the right treatment is chosen. This article discusses the use of methylprednisolone as an adjunctive therapy for acute spinal cord injury (ASCI) in adults and children.
In the past 30 years, treatment of acute spinal cord injuries (ASCI) has typically involved high doses of the steroid methylprednisolone, which is toxic to both patients and the environment. The original purpose of methylprednisolone was to treat rheumatoid arthritis but its use extended beyond rheumatoid arthritis when it was discovered that it could be used to treat different kinds of inflammatory diseases. Since then, steroids and biologicals have become an increasingly important part of medicine and today, these drugs are in widespread use in a number of medical fields.
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The first reports of the use of methylprednisolone for treatment of acute spinal cord injuries appeared in 1950s, when a steroidated drug was used to treat an infection in this area. It worked by increasing production of growth factors, which inhibit nerve cell death. In the 1960s, methylprednisolone was found to be effective for treating physical complications resulting from spinal cord injury.
The use of methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) in acute spinal cord injuries (ASCI) to treat pain, inflammation and swelling caused by the injury is well documented. The steroids MPA and its synthetic analog butylprednisolone are commonly used in high doses for several months or even years.
Thanks to modern technology, treatment with these drugs can be carried out either in a hospital or at home. However, side effects such as allergic reactions, nausea and vomiting still occur with high dosages of medications like these. Additionally, they are used on patients who do not suffer from ASI but want some relief from a chronic musculoskeletal condition like arthritis or fibromyalgia….
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Methylprednisolone is an important drug for the treatment of patients with acute spinal cord injuries. However, it has been associated with serious side effects such as hyperglycemia and kidney failure.
A recent study into the effectiveness of methylprednisolone and cortisone treatment for acute spinal cord injury has revealed that these drugs work by reducing inflammation around the spinal cord. These steroids also help in improving neurological function.
This article explains the position of the medical community in relation to steroid therapy of spinal cord injuries. The split in opinion is between ‘decision-making’ scientists, who argue that steroids may not be a safe treatment for the injured patient and ‘research’ scientists, who argue against such treatment and suggest that steroids are no more than a temporary means to an end. It is likely that this debate will continue in the future and will require further research.
The authors argue that there are two approaches to management with steroid therapy for spinal cord injury. First, companies should use their experience with various types of spinal cord injury as well as their knowledge about safety issues to develop information systems (HSIs) to make decisions regarding steroids or other therapies. Second, patients should be involved in decision-making by providing
The use of methylprednisolone is one of the most common treatments for acute spinal cord injury (ASCI). However, this drug has long been associated with serious side effects. In a recent American study, it caused heart valve problems in 8% of patients who took methylprednisolone for 6 months or longer. The treatment also leads to weight gain, increasing the risk of heart disease.