Riluzole in Spinal Cord Injury Study


  • Study type

  • Study phase

  • Study IDs

  • Describes the nature of a clinical study. Types include:

    • Observational study — observes people and measures outcomes without affecting results.
    • Interventional study (clinical trial) — studies new tests, treatments, drugs, surgical procedures or devices.
    • Medical records research — uses historical information collected from medical records of large groups of people to study how diseases progress and which treatments and surgeries work best.
  • During the early phases (phases 1 and 2), researchers assess safety, side effects, optimal dosages and risks/benefits. In the later phase (phase 3), researchers study whether the treatment works better than the current standard therapy. They also compare the safety of the new treatment with that of current treatments. Phase 3 trials include large numbers of people to make sure that the result is valid. There are also less common very early (phase 0) and later (phase 4) phases. Phase 0 trials are small trials that help researchers decide if a new agent should be tested in a phase 1 trial. Phase 4 trials look at long-term safety and effectiveness, after a new treatment has been approved and is on the market.

  • Site IRB
    • Rochester, Minnesota: 13-003367
    NCT ID: NCT01597518
    Sponsor Protocol Number: SPN-12-001

About this study

The aim of this study is to evaluate efficacy and safety of riluzole in the treatment of patients with acute SCI. The primary objective is to evaluate the superiority of riluzole, at a dose of 2 x 100 mg the first 24 hours followed by 2 x 50 mg for the following 13 days after injury, as compared to placebo, in change between 180 days and baseline in motor outcomes as measured by International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury Examination (ISNCSCI) Motor Score, in patients with acute traumatic SCI, presenting to the hospital less than 12 hours after injury. Secondary objectives are to evaluate the effects of riluzole on overall neurologic recovery, sensory recovery, functional outcomes, quality of life outcomes, health utilities, mortality, and adverse events. The working hypothesis is that the riluzole treated subjects will experience superior motor, sensory, functional, and quality of life outcomes as compared to those receiving placebo, with an acceptable safety profile.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. If you need assistance understanding the eligibility criteria, please contact the study team.

See eligibility criteria


  • Age between 18 and 75 years inclusive
  • Able to cooperate in the completion of a standardized neurological examination by ISNCSCI standards (includes patients who are on a ventilator)
  • Willing and able to comply with the study Protocol
  • Signed Informed Consent Document (ICD) by patient, legal representative or witness
  • Able to receive the Investigational Drug within 12 hours of injury
  • ISNCSCI Impairment Scale Grade "A," "B" or "C" based upon first ISNCSCI evaluation after arrival to the hospital
  • Neurological Level of Injury between C4-C8 based upon first ISNCSCI evaluation after arrival to the hospital
  • Women of childbearing potential must have a negative serum β-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG) pregnancy test or a negative urine pregnancy test


  • Injury arising from penetrating mechanism
  • Significant concomitant head injury defined by a Glasgow Coma Scale score < 14 with a clinically significant abnormality on a head CT (head CT required only for patients suspected to have a brain injury at the discretion of the investigator)
  • Pre-existent neurologic or mental disorder which would preclude accurate evaluation and follow-up (i.e. Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, unstable psychiatric disorder with hallucinations and/or delusions or schizophrenia)
  • Previous history of spinal cord injury
  • Recent history (less than 1 year) of chemical substance dependency or significant psychosocial disturbance that may impact the outcome or study participation, in the opinion of the investigator
  • Is a prisoner
  • Participation in a clinical trial of another Investigational Drug or Investigational Device within the past 30 days
  • Hypersensitivity to riluzole or any of its components
  • Neutropenia measured as absolute neutrophil count (ANC) measured in cells per microliter of blood of < 1500 at screening visit
  • Creatinine level of > 1.2 milligrams (mg) per deciliter (dL) in males or > 1.1 mg per dL in females at screening visit
  • Liver enzymes (ALT/SGPT or AST/SGOT) 3 times the upper limit of normal (ULN) at screening visit
  • Active liver disease or clinical jaundice
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or AIDS-related complex
  • Active malignancy or history of invasive malignancy within the last five years, with the exception of superficial basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin that has been definitely treated. Patients with carcinoma in situ of the uterine cervix treated definitely more than 1 year prior to enrollment may enter the study
  • Lactating at screening visit
  • Subject is currently using, and will continue to use for the next 14 days any of the following medications which are classified as CYP1A2 inhibitors or inducers*:
  • Inhibitors:
    • Ciprofloxacin
    • Enoxacin
    • Fluvoxamine
    • Methoxsalen
    • Mexiletine
    • Oral contraceptives
    • Phenylpropanolamine
    • Thiabendazole
    • Zileuton
  • Inducers:
    • Montelukast
    • Phenytoin

*Note: no washout period required; if these medications are discontinued, subjects are eligible to be enrolled in the trial

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact us for help.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Ahmad Nassr, M.D.

Open for enrollment

Contact information:

Vickie Treder CCRP



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