Clinical review: Treatment of heat stroke: Should dantrolene be considered?

Eran Hadad, Yoav Cohen-Sivan, Yuval Heled, Yoram Epstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Rapid and efficient cooling is the most important therapeutic objective in patients with heat stroke (HS). This article reviews the mechanism of action and rationale for the use of dantrolene as a potential supportive cooling method in the treatment of HS. Relevant studies were included to support discussion of the role of dantrolene for the treatment of HS. In some studies dantrolene was shown to accelerate cooling rate when administered after the development of exertional HS. Dantrolene was also found to be effective in reducing the extent of HS signs when given as pretreatment in an animal model. Accumulated data do not support the routine use of dantrolene as an adjuvant cooling technique in HS, but administration of this drug in severe cases, or in which no improvement is observed, appears rational. Further trials are needed in order to assess the true effectiveness of dantrolene in HS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-91
Number of pages6
JournalCritical Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Cooling
  • Dantrolene
  • Exertional heat stroke
  • Heat stroke
  • Hyperthermia
  • Temperature


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