USE OF DULOXETINE FOR TREATMENT OF NEUROPATHIC PAIN IN CANCER PATIENTS

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Abstract

Purpose

Neuropathic pain frequently occurs in cancer patients, but the mechanism has yet to be clarified and no drug therapy has been established. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of duloxetine on neuropathic pain in cancer patients.

Methods

The subjects were 15 cancer patients (9 males) with neuropathic pain who visited the Kinki University Faculty of Medicine Hospital between April 2011 and October 2011 and met the IASP diagnostic criteria for neuropathic pain. Duloxetine was administered in patients in whom pregabalin could not be administered, was ineffective, or was effective but the dose could not be elevated due to an adverse effect. The influence of duloxetine on pain and adverse effects was investigated retrospectively.

Results

Pain was reduced in 7 of the 15 patients. Sleepiness and a light-headed feeling were improved in three in whom pain was not reduced. Thus, the duloxetine was judged to be effective in 10 patients. The maintenance dose of duloxetine was 20–40 mg/day in patients who took the drug for 2 weeks or longer.

Conclusion

Duloxetine administration may be effective for neuropathic pain in cancer patients who cannot tolerate pregabalin administration.

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