The antipyretic action of naproxen has been reported as sufficiently selective for neoplasm-related fever such that the use of this agent has been recommended to distinguish neoplastic from infectious fever. The antipyretic effect of naproxen was evaluated in gynecologic oncology patients with advanced pelvic malignancies and fever without obvious source of infection (suspected neoplastic fever). Naproxen (250 mg orally every 8 hr) was given to 12 patients with (i) a daily temperature greater than 38.3°C, (ii) fever for at least 3 days, (iii) no evidence of infection on physical exam, (iv) negative results of blood and urine cultures, and (v) a chest roentgenogram negative for pneumonia. Ten of the 12 patients initially received a minimum of 3 days of empiric antibiotic therapy without resolution of fever. Within 24 hr of starting naproxen therapy, 10 patients' (83%) fever responded: Eight patients (80%) had a complete lysis of fever and two had partial lysis (20%). Temperature response was accompanied by subjective improvement in patient malaise and fatigue. Naproxen therapy was continued for 5-7 days in these patients, and chemotherapy was administered to those patients scheduled to receive it. Two patients did not respond to naproxen therapy in 24 hr; thus, it was stopped and the fever workup was continued. Of these two patients, one was eventually diagnosed with bacteremia after multiple negative blood cultures and initially no response to antibiotics. Naproxen is clinically useful in the palliation of fever-related symptoms in gynecologic oncology patients with suspected neoplastic fever. Naproxen may also allow the limitation of extensive fever workups and prolonged empiric antibiotic therapy in these patients, and prevent delays in systemic therapy or supportive care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology