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J Palliat Med. 2019 Feb 13. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2018.0551. [Epub ahead of print]

Dronabinol for the Treatment of Paraneoplastic Night Sweats in Cancer Patients: A Report of Five Cases.

Author information

1
1 School of Nursing, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California.
2
2 David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California.
3
3 Oncology Palliative Care, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.
4
4 Palliative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Night sweats significantly impact the quality of life for cancer patients and are often resistant to treatment. Cannabinoids have been shown to modulate cytokine activity and produce hypothermia in animal models, suggesting that they may be a promising candidate for palliation of night sweats in patients with oncologic disease.

OBJECTIVE:

Assess efficacy of the oral cannabinoid, dronabinol, for palliation of night sweats in cancer patients.

DESIGN:

A retrospective record search identified five cancer patients who had tried oral dronabinol for palliation of their night sweats between 2013 and 2016 and subjectively reported on its efficacy.

SETTING/SUBJECTS:

A convenience sample of five patients from the outpatient consultative palliative medicine program at Stanford Medical Center was chosen from a search of past records. Patients were included if they had a cancer diagnosis and complained of night sweats that subjectively interfered with their quality of life. All agreed to try oral dronabinol for palliation of their night sweats.

MEASUREMENTS:

Patients self-reported the effect of oral synthetic dronabinol on their night sweats.

RESULTS:

Treatment of five patients with advanced cancer with synthetic orally administered dronabinol resulted in the successful management of persistent symptomatic paraneoplastic night sweats.

CONCLUSION:

Dronabinol and/or medicinal cannabis are promising therapies for palliation of night sweats in cancer patients.

KEYWORDS:

cannabis; dronabinol; night sweats

PMID:
30759037
DOI:
10.1089/jpm.2018.0551

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