Drugs and Medications for Spinal Cord Injury

Written by Edward C. Benzel, MD

Spinal cord injury (SCI) treatment is complex. Besides the primary injury, a cascade of secondary conditions may develop immediately after the injury or later. Drugs and medications may be used for the primary injury and / or to treat the secondary conditions.

First Response after SCI
Preventing and controlling inflammation is a first response following SCI. A drug called methylprednisolone may be administered immediately and continued for 24 to 48 hours. It is a man-made synthetic corticosteroid drug. Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs.

Secondary Conditions
There are many secondary conditions that can develop after a spinal cord injury. Besides the conditions outlined below, other challenges include bladder and bowel management, dealing with fatigue, skin problems, and nutrition.

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