Monday, December 26, 2011

Combating Fatigue in Cancer

Pilot Study

A team of researchers from Australia and New Zealand conducted a small pilot study to help determine an appropriate dose of methylphenidate hydrochloride, a central nervous system stimulant, to treat fatigue in patients with advanced cancer.

They reported in Journal of Palliative Medicine that 5 mg twice daily would be an appropriate dose to test in a definitive study. Ten patients provided consent.

After a three-day assessment, patients received titrated methylphenidate hydrochloride at doses ranging from 5 mg a day to 15mg twice a day. Nine patients completed eight days and five received the maximum dose at day 15. Three patients were satisfied with the results at a lower dose and were not willing to increase it.

The team noted a pattern of rapidly improving fatigue and depression at 5 mg twice daily.

Journal of Palliative Medicine, Volume 13, Number 10, Oct. 2010

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