Background: Diagnosis of cancer causes psychological distress. The present study investigated the safety and efficacy of fluvoxamine therapy in gynecologic cancer patients with either adjustment disorder or major depression after cancer was diagnosed.
Methods: Screening with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was conducted at least 2 weeks after notification of the diagnosis of cancer in 214 gynecologic cancer patients hospitalized between January 2007 and December 2008. The HADS cutoff score was set at 11 points or greater. Informed consent to the study was obtained from 10 patients, and fluvoxamine was administered for 8 weeks. As primary end points, the safety and efficacy of fluvoxamine were evaluated using the HADS and the SF-36. As a secondary end point, the Clinical Global Impression was determined.
Results: The total HADS score, the anxiety score, and the depression score were significantly reduced after 6, 4, and 6 weeks of treatment, respectively. The SF-36 revealed significant improvement in vitality, mental health, and role (emotional) after 8 weeks of treatment. In the 5 patients with adjustment disorder, only the HADS anxiety score was significantly reduced after 4 weeks. In the 5 patients with major depression, the total HADS score, the anxiety score, and the depression score were significantly reduced after 6, 8, and 6 weeks, respectively. According to the SF-36, the adjustment-disorder groups showed significant improvement in mental health after 8 weeks of treatment, whereas the major-depression group showed significant improvement in vitality and role (emotional) after 8 weeks. No adverse events occurred in any subject. Assessment of the Clinical Global Impression suggested that fluvoxamine improved psychological distress in all 10 subjects.
Conclusions: The present findings suggest that fluvoxamine is useful for alleviating psychological distress, including adjustment disorder and major depression, in gynecologic cancer patients. Management of psychological distress after diagnosis of cancer is important.
- Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale
- Gynecologic cancer
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
- Quality of life
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