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A brief review on the use of antidepressants in palliative care
  1. Wadih Rhondali1,2,
  2. Michel Reich3,
  3. Marilene Filbet2
  1. 1Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA
  2. 2Department of Palliative Care, Centre Hospitalier de Lyon-Sud, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
  3. 3Psycho-Oncology Team, Centre Oscar Lambret, Lille, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr W Rhondali, Department of Palliative Care, Centre Hospitalier de Lyon-Sud, Hospices Civils de Lyon, 165 Chemin du Grand Revoyet, 69495 Pierre-Bénite, France; wadih.rhondali{at}


Antidepressants are part of the pharmacological management of depressive and anxiety disorders in oncology. In a palliative situation, several properties can enhance their indications, such as hot flushes induced by hormone therapy and neuropathic pain. For frail patients in the palliative stage, pharmacological interactions, their possible side effects and the modalities of their prescription should always be taken into account. In this review, the different classes of antidepressants that can be used in palliative care are described. These classes are briefly compared in terms of efficacy and safety. Suggestions on the best choice according to other symptoms are proposed.

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