Cannabis effective in the treatment of night sweats of four patients with advanced cancer
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by: Maida V.
J Palliat Med 2008;11(6):929-34.
Nabilone effective in the treatment of night sweats of four patients with advanced cancer
A researcher at a Division of Palliative Medicine of the University of Toronto, Canada, presented four cases of successful treatment of night sweats in advanced cancer with nabilone, a synthetic derivative of dronabinol. The four patients had been referred to the hospital and identified night sweats as one of their most significant symptomatic concerns. On an 11-point scale with 0 indicating absence of night sweats and 10 indicating worst possible severity, mean baseline score was 7.75. Two patients received 1 mg nabilone daily taken at bedtime and two patients, who also suffered from severe pain, nausea and appetite loss received 1 mg nabilone twice daily. All patients reported improvement within 48 hours. Two days after treatment onset night sweat scores decreased to a mean of 2.75 and after 14 days to a mean of 2.00. No relevant side effects occurred.
Night sweats are one of many symptoms experienced by patients with advanced cancer. Persistent night sweats tend to decrease quality of life through interference with sleep. A recent study has demonstrated that night sweats occur as part of a symptom pattern, and are associated with appetite and weight loss. In addition, night sweats represent one of the symptoms that displays a tendency not to improve as patients with advanced cancer approach end of life. Other available medications are often ineffective.
(Source: Maida V. Nabilone for the treatment of paraneoplastic night sweats: a report of four cases. J Palliat Med 2008;11(6):929-34.)
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