Update from 2008 ASCO Meeting in Chicago
Provigil® (modafinil) reduced fatigue in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy according to a study reported by Gary Morrow PhD at the 2008 ASCO meeting.
Patients who were severely fatigued after their first chemotherapy treatment had less fatigue after they received Provigil than those who got a placebo. They were also less sleepy during the day.
Severe fatigue was considered more than 6 on a 10 point scale. Patients with mild or moderate fatigue did not have a similar improvement.
Despite improvement in severe fatigue, there was no effect on depression.
Cancer-related fatigue is a feeling of overall exhaustion that isn’t relieved by rest or sleep. It can be debilitating, leading to sleepiness during the day, difficulty sleeping at night, and depression.
Dr. Morrow and his team at the University of Rochester Medical Center concluded,
Modafinil appears useful in the control of severe cancer-related fatigue, especially for patients with severe baseline fatigue. This eugeroic agent also has a significant beneficial effect on sleepiness but no effect on depression.
SOURCE: Morrow et al, A phase III randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of a eugeroic agent in 642 cancer patients reporting fatigue during chemotherapy: A URCC CCOP Study, 2008 ASCO Abstract #9512.