The purpose of this randomized trial was to confirm drug safety and to obtain preliminary efficacy data on Cervene (nalmefene), an opioid antagonist with relative κ receptor selectivity, for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. Patients were treated for 24 hours with either intravenous Cervene (0.05 mg/kg as an initial infusion over 15 minutes and 0.01 mg/kg/h maintenance) or placebo within 6 hours of an ischemic stroke. Efficacy was assessed by comparing the change from baseline to day 7 in the National Institutes of Health stroke scale score (NIHSSS) and the Glasgow Outcome Scale and Barthel Index at 3 months. Forty-four evaluable patients were randomized (3:1) to Cervene (n = 34; treated at 5.0 ± 0.9 hours after onset) and placebo (n = 10; treated at 4.6 ± 1.5 hours). No deaths or serious adverse events reasonably attributable to Cervene have been reported. A "major improvement" (NHSSS > 4) was seen at day 7: placebo, 33% (three of nine patients) and Cervene, 66% (19 of 29 patients). Only patients with initial NIHSSS ≥ 4 were considered evaluable for this primary endpoint. "Good recovery" at 3 months (Glasgow = 5) was as follows: placebo, 50% (5 of 10 patients) and Cervene, 73% (24 of 33 patients). The death rate at 3 months was placebo, 20% (2 of 10 patients) and Cervene, 9.1% (3 of 33 patients). One patient was lost to follow-up. In conclusion, results from this randomized trial suggest that Cervene is safe, tolerable, and may be beneficial in the treatment of acute stroke patients.
- Opiate antagonist
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine