Chemotherapy has many known side-effects, including debilitating fatigue. Currently, the recommended treatment for chemotherapy-induced fatigue is nutrition therapy, exercise, and meditation. There are no pharmaceutical options. Dr. Daniel Marks of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) says amphetamine-based stimulants only amplify the problem.
But according to Marks and his team of researchers, a drug currently in development to treat narcolepsy could help patients because it zeros in on orexin, a neurotransmitter that regulates wakefulness. There’s still a long way to go before the drug is approved, but it could be the answer that fatigued chemotherapy patients are looking for.