A critical assessment of edaravone acute ischemic stroke efficacy trials: is edaravone an effective neuroprotective therapy?

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2010 Jul;11(10):1753-63. doi: 10.1517/14656566.2010.493558.


Importance of the field: Edaravone (Radicut) is a free radical scavenger marketed in Japan by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. to treat acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients presenting within 24 h of the attack. Injectable edaravone ampoules (30 mg b.i.d., i.v., 14 days) were first approved on 23 May 2001. On 19 January 2010, as a new innovation, the Radicut BAG (Intravenous BAG) was approved by the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare. Efficacy of edaravone ranges from large significant clinical improvements to only modest improvements in clinical function measured using standard stroke scales when administered 6-72 h following an ischemic stroke. With almost 17 years of edaravone clinical experience, a few adverse events--including acute renal failure--have been noted.

What the reader will gain: This is the only article to date to critically review available clinical efficacy and toxicology data published in the literature to ascertain whether edaravone should be further pursued as a candidate for development worldwide.

Areas covered in this review: This review covers clinical studies carried out over the period 1993-2008.

Take home message: Edaravone may be a useful neuroprotective agent to treat the > 15 million victims worldwide who are devastated by stroke annually. Additional clinical studies are necessary to verify the efficacy of edaravone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antipyrine / adverse effects
  • Antipyrine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Antipyrine / pharmacokinetics
  • Antipyrine / therapeutic use
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Edaravone
  • Free Radical Scavengers / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Stroke / drug therapy*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical


  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Edaravone
  • Antipyrine