Pilot study of duloxetine for cancer patients with neuropathic pain non-responsive to pregabalin

Department of Medical Oncology, Kinki University Faculty of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.
Anticancer research (Impact Factor: 1.83). 05/2012; 32(5):1805-9.
Source: PubMed


Neuropathic pain frequently occurs in cancer patients, but no drug therapy has been established for this type of disorder. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of duloxetine in cancer patients suffering from neuropathic pain.
The subjects of the study were 15 cancer patients with neuropathic pain who visited the Kinki University Faculty of Medicine Hospital and met the International Association for the Study of Pain diagnostic criteria for neuropathic pain. Duloxetine was administered to patients in whom pregabalin could not be administered. The influence of duloxetine was investigated retrospectively with the use of a numerical rating scale.
Pain was reduced in 7 out of the 15 patients. Sleepiness and the light-headed feeling were improved in four patients, in whom, however, the pain was not reduced. Thus, duloxetine was judged to be effective in 11 patients. The maintenance dose of duloxetine was 20-40 mg/day.
Duloxetine administration may be effective for neuropathic pain in cancer patients who cannot tolerate pregabalin administration.

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