A controlled trial of cyproheptadine in cancer patients with anorexia and/or cachexia

C. G. Kardinal, Charles Lawrence Loprinzi, Daniel J Schaid, A. C. Hass, A. M. Dose, L. M. Athmann, J. A. Mailliard, G. W. McCormack, J. B. Gerstner, M. F. Schray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

177 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anorexia, cachexia, and resultant weight loss are major clinical problems in a substantial proportion of patients with advanced cancer. Effective means of alleviating these problematic symptoms are lacking. Extensive clinical data demonstrate a weight enhancing effect for the serotonin antagonist, cyproheptadine, in several clinical situations. In addition, sound basic research suggests that cyproheptadine may be helpful in patients with cancer anorexia/cachexia. Because of this, the authors performed a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded clinical trial using cyproheptadine, 8 mg orally three times a day in 295 patients with advanced malignant disease. Patients assigned to cyproheptadine had less nausea (P = 0.02), less emesis (P = 0.11), more sedation (P = 0.07), and more dizziness (P = 0.01) than placebo patients. Patients' appetites, measured by serial patient-completed questionnaires, appeared to be mildly enhanced by cyproheptadine. Unfortunately, cyproheptadine did not significantly abate progressive weight loss in these patients with advanced malignant disease; patients assigned to cyproheptadine lost an average of 4.5 pounds per month compared to 4.9 pounds per month for patients assigned to a placebo (P = 0.72).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2657-2662
Number of pages6
JournalCancer
Volume65
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1990

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Cyproheptadine
Cachexia
Anorexia
Neoplasms
Placebos
Weight Loss
Serotonin Antagonists
Dizziness
Appetite
Nausea
Vomiting
Clinical Trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

A controlled trial of cyproheptadine in cancer patients with anorexia and/or cachexia. / Kardinal, C. G.; Loprinzi, Charles Lawrence; Schaid, Daniel J; Hass, A. C.; Dose, A. M.; Athmann, L. M.; Mailliard, J. A.; McCormack, G. W.; Gerstner, J. B.; Schray, M. F.

In: Cancer, Vol. 65, No. 12, 1990, p. 2657-2662.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kardinal, CG, Loprinzi, CL, Schaid, DJ, Hass, AC, Dose, AM, Athmann, LM, Mailliard, JA, McCormack, GW, Gerstner, JB & Schray, MF 1990, 'A controlled trial of cyproheptadine in cancer patients with anorexia and/or cachexia', Cancer, vol. 65, no. 12, pp. 2657-2662. https://doi.org/10.1002/1097-0142(19900615)65:12<2657::AID-CNCR2820651210>3.0.CO;2-S
Kardinal, C. G. ; Loprinzi, Charles Lawrence ; Schaid, Daniel J ; Hass, A. C. ; Dose, A. M. ; Athmann, L. M. ; Mailliard, J. A. ; McCormack, G. W. ; Gerstner, J. B. ; Schray, M. F. / A controlled trial of cyproheptadine in cancer patients with anorexia and/or cachexia. In: Cancer. 1990 ; Vol. 65, No. 12. pp. 2657-2662.
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