An antibiotic appears to be a safe treatment for stroke and a good companion therapy for tPA, the clot buster that is currently the only FDA-approved drug therapy, researchers report.
A safety study in 60 stroke patients in Georgia, Kentucky and Oregon found the drug well tolerated even at three-and-one-half times the dose currently used for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, according to a research team led by the Medical College of Georgia and the University of Georgia.
"It's cheap, safe, well tolerated, easy to administer and can be given with tPA," said Dr. David Hess, chairman of the Department of Neurology in the MCG School of Medicine and corresponding author on the study in Stroke.
"This is an old drug that has been studied extensively in healthy young people," said Dr. Susan C. Fagan, professor of pharmacy at UGA, assistant dean for the MCG program of the UGA College of Pharmacy and the study's first author. "Now that we know it's also safe in a predominantly older stroke population, we can look more closely to identify the dose necessary to give us the pharmacologic effect we need."
The researchers want to find a dose that can be used effectively in any patient, regardless of weight, so it can be given easily, even during transport to a hospital, Hess said. They saw no significant adverse effects in doses ranging from 200 to 700 milligrams.
The broad spectrum antibiotic, in use since the 1960s for a variety of infections, is currently prescribed as an anti-inflammatory for diseases such as arthritis. MCG and UGA animal studies indicate that the drug also reduces stroke damage in multiple ways inhibiting white blood cells and enzymes that can destroy brain tissue and blood vessels immediately after a stroke and reducing brain cell suicide in the hours following a stroke.
The early-stage clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health, opens the door to a much larger clinical tr
|Contact: Toni Baker|
Medical College of Georgia