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Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 135–138 | Cite as

A randomized, crossover evaluation of methylphenidate in cancer patients receiving strong narcotics

  • Mary B. Wilwerding
  • Charles L. Loprinzi
  • James A. Mailliard
  • Judith R. O'Fallon
  • Angela W. Miser
  • Carol van Haelst
  • Debra L. Barton
  • John F. Foley
  • Laurie M. Athmann
Original Article

Abstract

Sedation may be a doselimiting side-effect of opioid therapy in some cancer patients. This study was designed to evaluate further the use of the psychostimulant, methylphenidate, an agent that has been reported to counteract opioid-induced sedation, in patients with cancer-related pain. Patients receiving a stable dose of an opioid for cancer-related pain were recruited for this randomized, double-blind, crossover clinical trial. In addition to their regular dose of narcotics, they received 5 days of methylphenidate followed by 5 days of placebo, or vice versa. Our data did not definitively demonstrate any statistically significant benefit for methylphenidate, but did suggest that this drug could mildly decrease narcotic-induced drowsiness and could increase night-time sleep. These data, in conjunction with other published data, suggest that methylphenidate can counteract narcotic-induced daytime sedation to a limited degree.

Key words

Methylphenidate Narcotic-induced sedation Psychostimulants 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary B. Wilwerding
    • 1
  • Charles L. Loprinzi
    • 2
  • James A. Mailliard
    • 1
  • Judith R. O'Fallon
    • 3
  • Angela W. Miser
    • 2
  • Carol van Haelst
    • 2
  • Debra L. Barton
    • 4
  • John F. Foley
    • 1
  • Laurie M. Athmann
    • 5
  1. 1.Nebraska Oncology GroupCreighton University, University of Nebraska Medical Center and AssociatesOmahaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Medical OncologyMayo Clinic and Mayo FoudationRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Cancer Center Statistics UnitMayo Clinic and Mayo FoudationRochesterUSA
  4. 4.Clinical Oncology ProgramCarle Cancer Center CommunityUrbanaUSA
  5. 5.Clinical Oncology ProgramDuluth CommunityDuluthUSA

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