Other Pharmaceuticals

There are many other medications with potential benefit for the treatment of pulmonary function in SCI. The use of anticoagulants for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary emboli is covered here. Other medications used in the treatment of asthma and/or COPD such as cromolyn sodium, methylxanthines and inhaled corticosteroids have not been studied in SCI.


One retrospective study had patients with high-level SCI perform an FES and rowing training intervention; those who took Buspirone, a medication used to help relieve anxiety, breathed deeper and had more improvements in cardiorespiratory (VO2peak) and respiratory parameters (VEpeak and VT) compared to patients who performed the same FES and rowing training but did not take Buspirone (Vivodtzev et al. 2021). Double-blind, randomized controlled trials with at least 20 participants per group would be helpful to experimentally determine if Buspirone has a generalizable effect on respiration in people with SCI.


There is level 3 evidence (from one case control study: Vivodtzev et al. 2021) that Buspirone during a period of 6 months of FESRT provided more improvements in some cardiorespiratory and respiratory parameters than FESRT alone in patients with acute high-level SCI.