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scientific articles

Isoxsuprine in the treatment of sickle cell painful crises: A double-blind comparative study with narcotic analgesic

key information

source: Annals of Saudi Medicine

year: 1999

authors: Al-Jam'a AH, Al-Dabbous IA, Rafiq MS, Al-Khatti A, Al-Salem AH, Al-Baharna A, Boholaiga M


Isoxsuprine is a tocolytic agent which improves erythrocyte deformability. It was accidentally found to be effective in the management of sickle cell disease (SCD) painful crises. The experience with the drug in the treatment of sickle cell disease is limited. This double-blind randomized comparative study was undertaken to test its efficacy and safety in the treatment of SCD painful crises.

Forty-three SCD patients (33 males and 10 females) with 44 episodes of pain were included in the study (i.e., one patient was included twice). Only those with painful crises requiring hospital admission were included. Patients were randomized to receive either isoxsuprine 5-10 mg, or meperidine 50100 mg intramuscularly, according to body weight, every four hours. A random selection of 23 patients received isoxsuprine, and 21 received meperidine. Pain score, duration of crisis, hospital stay, and side effects were monitored.

No significant difference was found in any parameter except for pain score at 30 and 60 minutes.

We conclude that isoxsuprine appears to be effective in the treatment of sickle cell painful crises. Confirmation of its efficacy in studies involving a larger number of patients is warranted.

organization: Dhahran and Dammam Central Hospital, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

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