Comparison of single and combination drug treatment strategies in experimental brain trauma

J Neurotrauma. Summer 1993;10(2):91-100. doi: 10.1089/neu.1993.10.91.


Effects of single-drug and combination drug treatments were examined in a model of lateral fluid percussion-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI) in rats. Treatments included the opioid receptor antagonist nalmefene, the thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) analog YM14673, the noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist dextrorphan, nalmefene + dextrorphan, YM14673 + nalmefene, YM14673 + dextrorphan, and equal volume saline. Single-dose treatment with nalmefene, YM14673, or dextrorphan at 30 min after trauma each significantly improved behavioral recovery at two weeks as compared with vehicle-treated controls, confirming earlier studies with these agents. No combination treatment was superior to treatment with the most effective individual drug alone. Combination treatment with the TRH analog and the NMDA antagonist resulted in significantly less effectiveness than treatment with either drug alone. These findings indicate the need for preclinical studies to examine potential drug-drug interactions in the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) trauma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Azetidines / therapeutic use*
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Brain Injuries / drug therapy*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Dextrorphan / therapeutic use*
  • Dipeptides / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Forelimb / physiology
  • Magnesium Sulfate / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology
  • Naltrexone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Naltrexone / therapeutic use
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Azetidines
  • Dipeptides
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Dextrorphan
  • Naltrexone
  • azetirelin
  • Magnesium Sulfate
  • nalmefene