Nabilone for the treatment of paraneoplastic night sweats: a report of four cases

J Palliat Med. 2008 Jul;11(6):929-34. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2008.9880.


ABSTRACT Night sweats are one of many symptoms experienced by patients with advanced cancer. The prevalence of night sweats ranges from 10%-48% in cancer patients. Persistent night sweats tend to decrease quality of life through interference with sleep. A recent study has demonstrated that night sweats occur as part of a symptom pattern, and are associated with the anorexia-cachexia symptom cluster. In addition, night sweats represent one of the symptoms that displays a tendency not to improve as patients with advanced cancer approach end of life. This paper serves to report on the successful management of four patients suffering from persistent paraneoplastic night sweats using the synthetic orally administered cannabinoid nabilone. The four patients had been referred to a regional consultative palliative medicine program and identified night sweats as one of their most significant symptomatic concerns reported on their Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) questionnaires.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dronabinol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dronabinol / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Palliative Care / methods
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes / drug therapy*
  • Sleep Deprivation / drug therapy
  • Sleep Deprivation / etiology
  • Sweating / drug effects*


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • nabilone
  • Dronabinol