Gabapentin for the treatment of pain related to radiation-induced mucositis in patients with head and neck tumors treated with intensity-modulated radiation therapy

Voichita Bar Ad, Gregory Weinstein, Pinaki R. Dutta, Ara Chalian, Stefan Both, Harry Quon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background. This retrospective study evaluates the efficacy of gabapentin for the treatment of pain syndrome related to radiation-induced mucositis in patients with head and neck tumors. Methods. Thirty cases of head and neck malignancies treated with radiotherapy were analyzed. Results. By using a median dose of 2700 mg/day of gabapentin, only 10% of patients required additional narcotic pain medications for adequate pain relief during the third and fourth week of treatment, despite grade 2 or higher mucositis present in 56% and 73% of the patients, respectively. Likewise, during the last weeks of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), only 35% of patients required additional narcotics for pain control, despite the presence of grade 2 or higher mucositis in 80% of cases. Conclusions. Gabapentin appears promising in reducing the need for narcotic pain medication for patients with head and neck malignancies treated with IMRT and should be further evaluated prospectively in controlled clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-177
Number of pages5
JournalHead and Neck
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gabapentin
  • Head and neck malignancies
  • IMRT
  • Radiation-induced mucositis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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