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Autonomic Dysreflexia

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    Autonomic Dysreflexia

    I'm asking about Dysreflexia. I've suffered with it for the last two weeks and believe I'm finally over it. Being a 25+ yr c5-6 quad I'm well rehearsed with it from UTI's and blocked catheters. However, a few things bothered me about this. To start with, as a culture showed, I had no UTI. No obvious blockage (Superpubic) so I was, and still am at somewhat of a loss as to cause? Also, my Dr's did not seem to be aware of AD, or at least not as concerned as I was. They prescribed antibiotics, valium, & Baclofen. Via Google I see all these other drugs (Nifedipine, etc). Along with a knowledgeable Dr, are there other drugs I should be looking into as an immediate relief to these excrutiating headaches and potentially fatal symptoms?

    Treatment of autonomic dysreflexia (AD) varies from center to center. Here, we use nitroglycerin ointment 1" applied to the skin when the blood pressure goes above 160 and repeated once if the blood pressure doesn't come down. Then we try a medicine called hydralazine 10 mg by mouth. Then we try Nifedipine. We haven't had to use nifedipine for almost four years. The other medicines work so well for us.

    You may need to have an abdominal ultrasound because gall stones and kidney stones can cause AD. Are you constipated? that can cause it too. Do you have a pressure sore somewhere? That too can cause AD. But if you had a two week stint of AD I'd be voting for checking for some problem inside your belly.

    There's information for your doctor on how to manage dysreflexia through the Parylyzed Veterans of America on line at

    Good luck.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


      Thanks, I may have found a Dr thru the Courage Center here in the Mpls metro area. I'm not constipated and no pressure sores. I agree, the belly is the most likely suspect.