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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 57

of 'Prevention and management of side effects in patients receiving opioids for chronic pain'

A randomized, crossover evaluation of methylphenidate in cancer patients receiving strong narcotics.
Wilwerding MB, Loprinzi CL, Mailliard JA, O'Fallon JR, Miser AW, van Haelst C, Barton DL, Foley JF, Athmann LM
Support Care Cancer. 1995;3(2):135.
Sedation may be a dose-limiting 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 counter-act 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.
Creighton University, University of Nebraska Medical Center and Associates, Omaha 68131, USA.