Duloxetine Improves Paclitaxel-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Gynecological Cancer

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According to a new study published in the journal Anticancer Research, researchers at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine in Osaka, Japan, have found that duloxetine can be effective in patients with gynecological cancer who experience peripheral neuropathy as a result of paclitaxel treatment.

For the retrospective study, researchers sought to investigate the use of duloxetine, a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), as a treatment option for paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy in patients with gynecological cancer. Researchers analyzed the medical records of patients with gynecological cancers and identified 25 who received duloxetine to treat paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy.

Results showed that of the 25 patients, 14 (56%) showed an improved response. Other analyses showed that tumor origin, total doses of carboplatin or paclitaxel, patient's age, chemotherapy regimen, previous medication, timing of duloxetine treatment, and maintenance dosage do not affect the effectiveness of duloxetine on paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy.

In regard to safety, adverse effects were found to be mild and often well-tolerated. Duloxetine was initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2004 and is used to treat a variety of disorders and pain. A previous prospective study by Smith et al. has also demonstrated the effectiveness of duloxetine for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.

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Duloxetine can be effective in gynecological cancer who experience peripheral neuropathy as a result of paclitaxel treatment.
The present study aimed at evaluating the usefulness and adverse effects of duloxetine treatment for paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy in gynecological cancer patients. As an option, duloxetine can be effectively used for paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy in patients with gynecological cancers, irrespective of patients' age, origin of the tumor, regimen of chemotherapy, or previous medication.
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