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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-138
Number of pages4
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1995

Keywords

  • Methylphenidate
  • Narcotic-induced sedation
  • Psychostimulants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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