Role of gabapentin in managing mucositis pain in patients undergoing radiation therapy to the head and neck Journal Article

Authors: Milazzo-Kiedaisch, C. A.; Itano, J.; Dutta, P. R.
Article Title: Role of gabapentin in managing mucositis pain in patients undergoing radiation therapy to the head and neck
Abstract: Background: Oral mucositis ( OM) is a painful and debilitating side effect that affects 80%-100% of patients undergoing radiation therapy for head and neck cancer. This dose-limiting side effect may potentially lead to pain, dehydration, malnutrition, infection, and treatment breaks. Treatment breaks can lead to decreased disease control and suboptimal patient outcomes. No primary prevention exists for OM, and management is focused on pain control. Compelling evidence exists that OM pain has somatic and neuropathic components. Objectives: This article reviews the existing literature on the use of gabapentin (Neurontin (R)) as a co-analgesic in treating the neuropathic pain in OM. Methods: A literature search was performed using CINAHL (R) and PubMed with the search terms gabapentin and oral mucositis. The selected articles were briefly screened for relevance, and three were included in this review. Findings: No systematic reviews exist on the role of gabapentin for neuropathic pain in radiation-induced OM. Two retrospective studies concluded that gabapentin reduced escalation of opioid doses and unplanned treatment breaks. One retrospective study demonstrated favorable swallowing outcomes. Pain and OM are nursing-sensitive outcomes that can be significantly affected by evidence-based nursing interventions.
Keywords: chemotherapy; pain; head and neck cancer; radiation therapy; neuropathic pain; management; outcomes; chemoradiation; gabapentin; adults; interventions; putting evidence; induced oral mucositis; pharmacological; radiation-induced oral mucositis; cancer receiving radiotherapy; treatment breaks
Journal Title: Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing
Volume: 20
Issue: 6
ISSN: 1092-1095
Publisher: Oncology Nursing Society (ONS)  
Date Published: 2016-12-01
Start Page: 623
End Page: 628
Language: English
ACCESSION: WOS:000389234100015
DOI: 10.1188/16.cjon.623-628
PUBMED: 27857262
PMCID: PMC5621478
Notes: Article -- Source: Wos
Citation Impact
MSK Authors
  1. Pinaki R Dutta
    17 Dutta