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Turkish Journal of Cancer
2004, Volume 34, Number 3, Page(s) 110-113
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Venlafaxine for treatment of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain
MUSTAFA ÖZDOĞAN1, MUSTAFA SAMUR1, HAKAN Ş. BOZCUK1, HÜLYA AYDIN2, ERKAN ÇOBAN1,BURHAN SAVAŞ1
1Akdeniz University Faculty of Medicine, Departments of Internal Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology , Antalya -Turkey
2 Akdeniz University Faculty of Medicine, Departments of Neurology, Antalya -Turkey

Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is a common toxicity of frequently used chemotherapy agents. Pain in these patients may sometimes be a difficult problem to manage. To palliate symptoms we administered venlafaxine in our patients suffering from chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy. 12 patients with cancer, 10 of whom had unremitting painful chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and 2 had been suffering from severe paresthesia, numbness, walking difficulty without pain, used 75 mg venlafaxine extended release capsules for 8 weeks. Symptoms and adverse effects were evaluated before and after treatment. Median VAS score declined to 0 at the 8th week from its baseline median value of 45. This decline in pain severity was significant (P¡Ü0.001). Other symptoms did not improve. As a side effect, drowsiness increased from 0% of cases reported baseline to 75% at the 8th week (P=0.041). Two patients gave up due to the toxicity. Venlafaxine seems to effectively improve chemotherapy induced neuropathic pain with moderate manageable toxicity. This observation warrants further study for comparison with other antidepressants. [Turk J Cancer 2004;34(3):110-113]

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