Intravenous methadone for severe pain in children with cancer

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“We describe the effect and side effects in two children with cancer treated with intravenous methadone in extreme doses (>10 mg/kg/day) due to vincristine-induced neuropathy where surgical procedures provoked severe neuropathic pain” Rasmussen et al (2015).

Reference:

Rasmussen, V.F., Lundberg, V., Jespersen, T.W. and Hasle, H. (2015) Extreme doses of intravenous methadone for severe pain in two children with cancer. Paediatric Blood & Cancer. 13th January. [epub ahead of print].

Abstract:

We describe the effect and side effects in two children with cancer treated with intravenous methadone in extreme doses (>10 mg/kg/day) due to vincristine-induced neuropathy where surgical procedures provoked severe neuropathic pain. The maximum daily dose was 33 and 25 mg/kg/day. Methadone remained effective at adjusted doses. Few side effects were reported. No significant changes in paraclinical data were observed. Prolonged QTc-interval occurred only during concomitant treatment with fluconazole. In conclusion, methadone should be seen as a part of the armamentarium against cancer-related pain. Methadone can be used in extreme doses with appropriate monitoring by clinicians experienced in its use.

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