This complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) information summary provides an overview of the use of mistletoe as a treatment for people with cancer. The summary includes a brief history of mistletoe research, the results of clinical trials, and possible side effects of mistletoe use.
This summary contains the following key information:
Mistletoe is a semiparasitic plant that has been used for centuries to treat numerous human ailments.
Mistletoe is used commonly in Europe, where a variety...
Having more than one chronic disease and source of pain
Older patients may have more than one chronic disease and take several drugs for different conditions. This can increase the risk of drug interactions. Drugs taken together can change how they work in the body and can affect the patient's chronic diseases.
Problems with vision, hearing, movement, or ability to communicate
Older patients may need simpler and more frequent tests to find out how much pain they are having.
Side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Older patients may be more sensitive to the effects of opioids. This can give better pain relief that lasts longer. The dose of the opioids may need to be adjusted.
Patient-controlled pain relief
Patient-controlled pain relief must be used carefully in older patients, since drugs are slower to leave the body and older patients are more sensitive to the side effects.
Changes in living arrangements
When older patients move (for example, from hospital to home or nursing home), their needs for pain control may change. These needs should be checked so that pain control methods can be adjusted if needed.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute
May 28, 2015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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