Tetrodotoxin as a treatment for cancer pain: nursing prospect – Literature review

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Introduction. Strategies for dealing cancer related pain are not always effective. New treatment are being investigated, including tetrodotoxin (TTX), a substance found in many species of pufferfish, which blocks sodium channels. Objective. The aim of this review is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of TTX in the reduction of intractable cancer pain. Materials and methods. A systematic review of the scientific literature on the Medline, Cinahl, Embase databases was conducted. Results. Tetrodotoxin may have an effective analgesic effect in patients. It is safe and with few side effects. Discussion. The number of patients treated is not adequate to confirm the efficacy of TTX, it is necessary to investigate the duration of the analgesic effect. Further TTX studies are needed. The possibility of being able to use a drug with minor side effects compared to the alternatives, would offer a significant improvement in the quality of life of the patients, therefore the nursing interest in this substance remains high and worthy of further studies that further deepen the variables described above.
Key words: cancer, pain, tetrodotoxin.

Also available in : Italiano