Open Access Research Article

Reasons for Discontinuation of Dantrolene in Persons with Brain Injuries with Spasticity: A Retrospective Review

1Resident Physician, Stanford University, USA

2Director of the Rehabilitation Research Center, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Rehabilitation Research Center, USA

3Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, USA

Corresponding Author

Received Date: October 01, 2021;  Published Date: October 28, 2021


Dantrolene is a muscle relaxant used to treat spasticity in persons with neurological injuries. At our acute rehabilitation unit, there have been anecdotal reports of patients developing dysphagia after starting dantrolene. The objective of this study is to investigate association between dantrolene and dysphagia in addition to other side effects of dantrolene. A retrospective chart review was performed on patients 18 years old or older that were started on dantrolene for spasticity during their acute rehabilitation admission. Exclusion criteria included any patients that have missing data, were started on dantrolene for reasons other than spasticity, or were started on dantrolene outside of their inpatient admission. Between 2015-2018, 62 out of 1,542 inpatients were started on dantrolene. Fifty patients tolerated the medication, and 12 patients discontinued the medication due to dysphagia (n=2), fatigue (n=3), elevated LFTs (n=1), lack of effect (n=3), and other complications (n=3). Demographic comparisons and regression models revealed no significant predictors of dysphagia and other side effects. Relatively high percentage of patients (19.4%) who were started on dantrolene discontinued the medication due to side effects or lack of efficacy. These findings can provide clinicians with insight into expected side effects when using dantrolene to treat spasticity

Keywords:Brain; Depression; Muscle; Injuries; Spinal cord; Cerebral vascular; Heart failure; Neuroleptic

Abbreviations:CVA: Cerebral Vascular Accident; TBI: Traumatic Brain Injury; SCI: Spinal Cord Injury; SAH: Subarachnoid Hemorrhage; QD: Daily; BID: Twice a Day; TID: Three Times a Day; LFT: Liver Function Test; F: Female; M: Male

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