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Support Care Cancer. 2000 Mar;8(2):134-7.

Successful palliation of hypoactive delirium due to multi-organ failure by oral methylphenidate.

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Seirei Hospice, Seirei Mikatabara Hospital, Shizuoka, Japan.


Delirium is frequently observed in terminally ill cancer patients, but complete remission is often difficult to achieve. Therefore, symptom palliation is of great importance to improve patients' quality of life. Although it has been suggested that psychostimulants would be beneficial to patients with hypoactive delirium, there have been very few empirical reports so far. We report on a terminally ill cancer patient with hypoactive delirium caused by multi-organ failure, in whom methylphenidate was effective in improving the ability to maintain communication. This case highlights the efficacy of methylphenidate for hypoactive delirium in terminally ill cancer patients.

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