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A phase 3 randomized placebo-controlled trial of tadalafil for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Abstract

Objective

To conduct a randomized trial to test the primary hypothesis that once-daily tadalafil, administered orally for 48 weeks, lessens the decline in ambulatory ability in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Methods

Three hundred thirty-one participants with DMD 7 to 14 years of age taking glucocorticoids were randomized to tadalafil 0.3 mg·kg-1·d-1, tadalafil 0.6 mg·kg-1·d-1, or placebo. The primary efficacy measure was 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) after 48 weeks. Secondary efficacy measures included North Star Ambulatory Assessment and timed function tests. Performance of Upper Limb (PUL) was a prespecified exploratory outcome.

Results

Tadalafil had no effect on the primary outcome: 48-week declines in 6MWD were 51.0 ± 9.3 m with placebo, 64.7 ± 9.8 m with low-dose tadalafil (p = 0.307 vs placebo), and 59.1 ± 9.4 m with high-dose tadalafil (p = 0.538 vs placebo). Tadalafil also had no effect on secondary outcomes. In boys >10 years of age, total PUL score and shoulder subscore declined less with low-dose tadalafil than placebo. Adverse events were consistent with the known safety profile of tadalafil and the DMD disease state.

Conclusions

Tadalafil did not lessen the decline in ambulatory ability in boys with DMD. Further studies should be considered to confirm the hypothesis-generating upper limb data and to determine whether ambulatory decline can be slowed by initiation of tadalafil before 7 years of age.

Clinicaltrialsgov identifier

NCT01865084.

Classification of evidence

This study provides Class I evidence that tadalafil does not slow ambulatory decline in 7- to 14-year-old boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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