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MethylPrednisone question

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    MethylPrednisone question

    So, I asked someone whose expertise is SCI research about MP. They said MP is crap and kills more people than it helps. Huh? I was giving MP at the scene of my accident and my injury is verrrrry incomplete. I mentioned this, and the reply was "you were lucky." Is there an UNBIASED site to read about stats, pros/cons of MP, etc. I ask b/c I don't know what to believe anymore.

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. ~Albert Einstein

    Hi Andrea, Methylprednisone has always had its detractors despite an abundance of studies favoring its use in cases of acute non-penetrating SCI. Physicians seem to ignore the direct link between the use of MP and the rise in incomplete SCI diagnoses. Dr. Young has posted follow ups but I couldn't find his exact response after a search on this site turned up 200 matches.



      Methylprednisolone is the only treatment that has been shown in multiple double-blind randomized clinical trials to improve functional recovery after spinal cord injury. These studies were published in the best medical journals in the field.

      In the last few years, there has been criticism of the studies. Most of the criticisms were based on what some doctors believe are the inadequacies of the clinical trials that were carried out. Nobody has claimed that methylprednisolone is dangerous or kills people, when it is given properly in the dosages recommended by the trial.

      I estimate that over a million people have received methylprednisolone over the past 10 years. If it really produced significant complications or side-effects, it would have been reported by now. I know hundreds, perhaps thousands of people who have receive methylprednisolone. There was in fact one study in Norway that showed that it significantly reduced mortality in very severe poly-trauma where people had suffered massive body injuries.

      If you are really interested, I can point you to a bunch of articles that summarize all these results. While I believe that doctors have a right to believe or not believe published results, it bothers me that the doctors who have been criticizing the available studies have not produced any data of their own. It is unfortunate because it may be depriving some people of the benefits of the treatment.

      The second National Acute Spinal Cord Injury Study (NASCIS 2) showede that methylprednisolone allowed recovery of motor function by an average of 21% of what was lost at 6-12 months after injury, compared to 8% in placebo-treated people, when the person came into the hospital with no motor or sensory function below the injury site. If a person came into the hospital with some motor or sensory function below the injury site, that person on average recovered 59% of what they had lost compared to 75% if they received methylprednisolone.

      Methylprednisolone is not a miraculous drug. The earlier that it is given, the better the effect. It is not effective and may even be deleterious if it is started more than 8 hours after injury. Christopher Reeve got the drug at 30 minutes after injury. It is interesting to me that nobody to date has suggested that some of the recovery that he has gotten to date may have been due to methylprednisolone.