Progesterone for Treating Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke

Written by Kathy Lynch, PharmD – Women’s International Pharmacy


Recent clinical studies support the use of progesterone in the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI). One trial found that the mortality rate of subjects with moderate to severe adult TBI, who were given progesterone intravenously for three days after the injury, was less than half of that among control subjects. These subjects were still doing better 30 days later. A second study found similar results, and neither study found any serious adverse effects.

Studies involving animals also support the use of progesterone in the treatment of acute stroke. This research indicates that progesterone protects the brain against damage caused by lack of blood flow, and it may also reduce the size of the blood clot involved.

  • Stein DG, Sayeed I. Is Progesterone Worth Consideration as a Treatment for Brain Injury? AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2010 Jan;194(1):20-2. doi: 10.2214/AJR.09.3407.
  • Wright DW, et al. ProTECT: A Randomized Clinical Trial of Progesterone for Acute Traumatic Brain Injury. Ann Emerg Med. 2007 Apr; 49(4):391-402.
  • Xiao G, et al. Improved Outcomes from the Administration of Progesterone for Patients with Acute Traumatic Brain Injury: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Crit Care. 2008;12(2):R61. doi: 10.1186/cc6887. Epub 2008 Apr 30.