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ISRN Pharm. 2011;2011:981254. doi: 10.5402/2011/981254. Epub 2011 Aug 15.

Randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled trial of clenbuterol in denervated muscle atrophy.

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1
Department of Hand Surgery, Huashan Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

β(2)-adrenergic agonists, such as clenbuterol, have been shown to promote the hypertrophy of healthy skeletal muscles and to ameliorate muscle wasting in a few pathological conditions in both animals and humans. We intended to investigate the clinical efficacy of clenbuterol on attenuating denervation-induced muscle atrophy.

METHODS:

A double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel, and randomized trial was employed. 71 patients, suffering from brachial plexus injuries, were given either clenbuterol (60 μg, bid) or placebo for 3 months. Before and at the end of the study, patients were given physical examinations, biopsies of biceps brachii, electromyograms (EMGs), and other laboratory tests.

RESULTS:

Compared with placebo treatment, clenbuterol significantly mitigated the decreases in cross-sectional areas of type I and II muscle fibers and alleviated the reduction in fibrillation potential amplitudes, without any adverse effects.

CONCLUSIONS:

Clenbuterol safely ameliorated denervated muscle atrophy in this cohort; thus larger clinical studies are encouraged for this or other β(2) agonists on denervation-induced muscle atrophy.

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