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Not enough evidence about the effects of drugs used to try and reduce spasticity in the limbs after spinal cord injury

A major problem after spinal cord injury is muscle resistance to having the arms or legs moved (spasticity). There can also be spasms. This can severely limit a person's mobility and independence, and can cause pain, muscle problems, and sleep difficulties. Treatments to try and reduce spasticity include exercise, and drugs to try and decrease the muscle tone. The review found there was not enough evidence from trials to assess the effects of the range of drugs used to try and relieve spasticity after spinal cord injury. The authors of the review call for more research and make recommendations as to how this research should be conducted.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Comparing Muscle Relaxants

How do muscle relaxants compare in treating spasticity caused by a neurological disorder?

PubMed Clinical Q&A [Internet] - National Center for Biotechnology Information (US).

Version: December 1, 2007

Drug and nutritional treatment for McArdle disease

We reviewed the evidence about the effects of drug and nutritional treatment for McArdle disease.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Muscle relaxants for pain management in rheumatoid arthritis

This summary of a Cochrane review presents what we know from research about the effect of muscle relaxants on pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

The effect of anti‐spasticity agents in people with multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the nervous system which affects young and middle‐aged adults. Spasticity, a common problem in people with MS, is a disorder of voluntary movement caused by damage to the central nervous system. The main sign is the resistance to passive movement of a limb but other associated features ‐ pain, spasms, loss of function ‐ affect people's quality of life more directly.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2008

Treatment for cramps in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease

A cramp is a sudden, involuntary painful contraction of a muscle. Many people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease (MND), experience cramps during the course of the disease. These range from mild cramps that do not affect daily activities and sleep, through to very severe, painful cramps. Some medications that are used to treat cramps in people with no medical condition or with conditions other than ALS have been tested in ALS clinical trials. These medicines include vitamin E, creatine, quinidine, and gabapentin. Other medications such as quinine sulfate, magnesium, lioresal, dantrolene, clonazepam, diphenylhydantoin, and gabapentin have been used to treat cramps in people with ALS but their effectiveness is unknown. In 2006 and 2010 the US Food and Drugs Administration issued warnings concerning the use of quinine sulfate, which was the previously most widely prescribed medication for cramps in the US. This review sought to find out how effective medications and physical treatments for cramps are for people with ALS. The reviewers identified 20 randomised controlled trials in people with ALS comprising a total of 4789 participants. Only one trial, of the drug tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), directly investigated the effectiveness of an intervention for cramps. Thirteen randomised controlled ALS trials investigated cramps secondarily among other variables. The medications comprised vitamin E, baclofen, riluzole, L‐threonine, xaliproden, indinavir, and memantine. Six randomised controlled ALS trials investigated cramps as adverse events. The medications comprised creatine, gabapentin, dextromethorphan, quinidine and lithium. None of the 20 studies could demonstrate any benefit, but the studies were small. Current evidence on the treatment of cramps in ALS is lacking and more research is needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Systematic Reviews in PubMed

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