A prospective randomized study of corticosteroids as adjuvant drugs to opioids in advanced cancer patients

Alessandra Casuccio, Fabio Fulfaro, Michela Berchovich, Sebastiano L. Mercadante

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This randomized controlled study evaluated the role of corticosteroids as adjuvants to opioid therapy in 76 advanced cancer patients with pain who requiring strong opioids. Patients were divided in 2 groups. Group O received conventional opioid treatment. Group OSreceived dexamethasone (8 mg orally) along with conventional treatment. Pain and symptom intensity, sense of well-being, and opioid escalation index and distress score were recorded at weekly intervals until death. Nodifferences in pain intensity, opioid consumption, and opioid escalation index were found in 66 patients who survived 33 to 37 days. Corticosteroids did not provide significant additional analgesia to opioids, but persistentlydecreased opioid-related gastrointestinal symptoms for the patients with limited survival and improved the sense of well-being for some weeks. Corticosteroid related toxicity was minimal. Further studies with an increased sample size are necessary to detect any minimaldifference in analgesia between the two groups.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-7
Numero di pagine7
Volume24 (1)
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2007


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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