Phase IIB Randomized Trial on the Use of 4-Aminopyridine in Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine the safety and efficacy of orally delivered 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) in persons with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) >6 months from initial diagnosis. DESIGN: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. SETTING: Tertiary care clinical outpatient program. PARTICIPANTS: Nineteen participants enrolled (14 male, 5 female; N=19), neurologic impairment secondary to GBS and functional loss on the FIM motor score (stable for ≥12mo) and >3.0 but <5.0 on the American Spinal Injury motor scale. Twelve participants (mean age, 59y; range, 23-77y) completed the study. INTERVENTIONS: A 4-AP dose-escalation study with 8 weeks in each period with a 3-week washout period, followed by 3 months open-label follow-up. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: FIM motor score was the primary outcome measure; also evaluated were the American Spinal Injury motor strength score (all limbs), handheld dynamometer, 6-minute walk test, Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item Short Form, Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, pain, GBS disability scale, Jepsen-Taylor Hand Function Test, Minnesota Manual Dexterity Test and Minnesota Rate of Manipulation Test, Get Up and Go Test, McGill Pain Inventory, Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique, and participant self-evaluation. RESULTS: Seven participants discontinued the study prematurely: 3 because of adverse events, 3 because of travel difficulties or relocation, and 1 because of pretreatment laboratory abnormalities. After removing 3 participants with maximum FIM scores, 4-AP arm trended superior to placebo (P=.065). Patients subjectively could always tell when they were on the active agent usually by tingling sensations or a sense of wellness. No statistically significant differences were found for other outcome measures although there were strong trends. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the safety of 4-AP in the patient population with GBS as the predominate goal of the study. A trend toward improved function after treatment was noted with most patients electing to stay on the medication after the trial.
  • Authors


  • 4-AP, 4-aminopyridine, 4-Aminopyridine, Demyelinating diseases, FDA, Food and Drug Administration, GBS, Guillain-Barré syndrome, Guillain-Barre syndrome, List of abbreviations: ECG, electrocardiogram, MOS-12, Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item, MS, multiple sclerosis, PANAS, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, Rehabilitation, VAS, visual analog scale
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 17264249
  • Author List

  • Meythaler JM; Brunner RC; Peduzzi J
  • Start Page

  • 100123
  • Volume

  • 3
  • Issue

  • 2