Current Psychiatry Reports

, 17:529 | Cite as

Psychopharmacology in Cancer

  • Seema M. ThekdiEmail author
  • Antolin Trinidad
  • Andrew Roth
Complex Medical-Psychiatric Issues (MB Riba, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Complex Medical-Psychiatric Issues


Depression, anxiety, delirium, and other psychiatric symptoms are highly prevalent in the cancer setting, and pharmacological intervention is an important component in the overall psychosocial care of the patient. Psychopharmacology is also used as a primary or adjuvant treatment for the management of cancer-related symptoms stemming from the disease itself and/or its treatment, including sleep disturbance, loss of appetite, neuropathic pain, nausea, fatigue, and hot flashes. Psychiatrists, oncologists, and palliative care physicians working as members of a multidisciplinary team have the opportunity to target multiple symptoms that negatively affect a patient’s quality of life with the strategic use of psychotropic medications when deemed appropriate. This article aims to review the indications for use of antidepressants, psychostimulants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers in oncology. An updated review of the relevant literature is discussed and referenced in each section.


Cancer Psychopharmacology Depression Anxiety Cancer-related symptoms Psycho-oncology 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Seema M. Thekdi, Antolin Trinidad, and Andrew Roth declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seema M. Thekdi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Antolin Trinidad
    • 2
  • Andrew Roth
    • 3
  1. 1.The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryNorwalk HospitalNorwalkUSA
  3. 3.Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA

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