Minton, O., Richardson, A., Sharpe, M., Hotopf, M., & Stone, P. (2010). Drug therapy for the management of cancer-related fatigue. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 7, CD006704.doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006704.pub3
To evaluate the effectiveness of pharmacologic interventions used for fatigue in patients with cancer
This review was an update of a previous review. The updated search retrieved 647 additional references. Of those, six additional studies met the inclusion criteria. The final sample of studies included was 31.
The review included 7,104 participants who received a drug intervention for CRF.
Erythropoietin and Darbepoetin
Four trials of methylphenidate provided evidence for use that was supportive but associated with a small effect size in a dose of 10–20 mg per day. Serious adverse events were minimal; however, clinicians need to review contraindications before prescribing. Additional large-scale trials were suggested using methylphenidate to further evaluate use in CRF. Erythropoietin and darbepoetin can no longer be recommended for CRF because of increased adverse events associated with these drugs. No current evidence exists to support the use of steroids.