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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 59

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

Methylphenidate associated with narcotics for the treatment of cancer pain.
Bruera E, Chadwick S, Brenneis C, Hanson J, MacDonald RN
Cancer Treat Rep. 1987;71(1):67.
Thirty-two patients with chronic pain due to advanced cancer were treated with methylphenidate (10 mg with breakfast and 5 mg with lunch) for 3 days, versus placebo, in a randomized, double-blind, cross-over study designed to evaluate the capacity of methylphenidate to potentiate the analgesic effect of narcotics and/or to decrease sedation induced by narcotics. In 28 evaluable patients, the intensity of pain (visual analogue 0-100) and intake of extra doses of analgesics (number of doses/day) were 43 +/- 27 and 2.2 +/- 2.4 during methylphenidate, versus 55 +/- 24 (P less than 0.02) and 2.9 +/- 2.9 (P less than 0.002) during placebo, respectively. Activity and drowsiness (visual analogue 0-100) were 57 +/- 25 and 58 +/- 24 after methylphenidate, respectively, versus 41 +/- 26 (P less than 0.05) and 45 +/- 27 (P less than 0.02) after placebo. Upon completion of the study, the investigator and the patient chose methylphenidate blindly as a more useful drug in 23 cases (83%) and 20 cases (70%), respectively (P less than 0.02). No cases of severe toxicity were observed. We conclude that methylphenidate can increase the analgesic effect and decrease sedation of narcotics in this population.