JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Neuroleptics in the management of delirium in patients with advanced cancer

David Hui, Rony Dev, Eduardo Bruera
Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care 2016, 10 (4): 316-323
27661210

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Delirium is the most common and distressing neuropsychiatric syndrome in cancer patients. Few evidence-based treatment options are available due to the paucity of high quality of studies. In this review, we shall examine the literature on the use of neuroleptics to treat delirium in patients with advanced cancer. Specifically, we will discuss the randomized controlled trials that examined neuroleptics in the front line setting, and studies that explore second-line options for patients with persistent agitation.

RECENT FINDINGS: Contemporary management of delirium includes identification and management of any potentially reversible causes, coupled with nonpharmacological approaches. For patients who do not respond adequately to these measures, pharmacologic measures may be required. Haloperidol is often recommended as the first-line treatment option, and other neuroleptics such as olanzapine, risperidone, and quetiapine represent potential alternatives. For patients with persistent delirium despite first-line neuroleptics, the treatment strategies include escalating the dose of the same neuroleptic, rotation to another neuroleptic, or combination therapy (i.e., the addition of a second neuroleptic or other agent). We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, and the available evidence to support each strategy.

SUMMARY: Adequately powered, randomized trials involving proper control interventions are urgently needed to define the optimal treatment strategies for delirium in the oncology setting.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
27661210
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.