Methylphenidate for fatigue in advanced cancer: A prospective open-label pilot study

Nabeel Sarhill, Declan Walsh, Kristine A. Nelson, Jade Homsi, Susan Legrand, Mellar P. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Psychostimulants such as methylphenidate are used for fatigue in cancer patients. We report a prospective, open-label, pilot study of the successful use of methylphenidate to treat fatigue in nine of 11 consecutive patients with advanced cancer. Seven had received radiation or chemotherapy, a median of three weeks (range from one to 30 weeks) prior to methylphenidate. A rapid onset of benefit was noted, even in the presence of mild anemia. Sedation and pain also improved in some. Only one patient had side effects severe enough to stop the medication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2001


  • cancer
  • fatigue
  • methylphenidate
  • psychostimulant
  • symptom management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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