Dantrolene and recovery from heat stroke

D. Moran, Y. Epstein, M. Wiener, M. Horowitz

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20 Scopus citations


Several authors have shown that dantrolene may be effective in the treatment of heat stroke patients. However, the scant data available are still controversial. The aim of this investigation was to establish an animal experimental model for studying the efficacy of this drug both as a prophylactic agent and as a means of hastening the cooling process after heat stroke. Male albino rats were divided into five groups: Sedentary controls (SC), Sedentary+dantrolene (S+D), Exercise controls (EC), and Exercise+dantrolene (E+D, E+D1). The drug (140 mg · kg-1 body weight) was administered i.v. either prior to subjection to heat stress (40 °C) (S+D, E+D) or upon development of heat stroke syndrome (E+D1). In the S+D group, dantrolene administered prior to heat stress (HS) delayed the development of heat stroke by 70%, although colonic temperature (T(c)) at the onset of heat stroke was similar to that in group SC (43.0 ± 0.1 °C and 43.2 ± 0.4 °C for S+D and SC, respectively). In E+D animals, dantrolene shortened exercise endurance in the heat by 17.5%, but concomitantly hindered severe T(c) rise (40.9 ± 0.2 °C and 40.0 ± 0.2 °C for EC and E+D, respectively). Administration of dantrolene on the development of heat stroke appeared to improve cooling in the exercise group (0.25 °C · min-1 and 0.18 °C · min-1, for the first 15 min of cooling, for E+D1 and EC, respectively). The results suggest that dantrolene is effective as a prophylactic agent in sedentary animals only. It also might have application on development of heat stroke. It is hypothesized that the observed rapid cooling is associated with dantrolene's effect on muscle contraction, thus leading to attenuated heat production and peripheral vascular relaxation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-989
Number of pages3
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Dantrolene
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat stroke
  • Hyperthermia
  • Rat


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