The relevance of the use of psychotropic drugs in clinical oncology


Yu.N. Zubkova, I.A. Kurmukov, O.A. Obukhova, Sh.R. Kashia

Department of Functional Diagnostics, Intensive Care and Rehabilitation, N.N. Blokhin National Medical Research Center of Oncology (N. N. Blokhin NMRCO), Moscow, Russia
A review of the main foreign studies and recommendations that substantiated the formation of psycho-oncology, a new sub-specialty at the junction of oncology and psychiatry, is presented. Psychiatric disorders in oncological patients are much more common than in the general population, which is associated with the development of adjustment disorders and depression. Even comorbidity of schizophrenia and schizophrenic spectrum disorders in patients with oncological diseases is about 3–4%, and psychiatric symptoms at different stages of treatment are observed in at least 30% of patients. The administration of psychotropic drugs also plays an important role in the provision of palliative care. Specific features of onco-psychiatry include the diagnosis of mental disorders in patients with severe somatic pathology, differential diagnosis of clinically similar symptoms and side effects of antitumor and psychiatric treatment, consideration of potential interactions of drugs used in psychiatry and oncology, determination of the applicability of psychopharmacological preparations for non-psychiatric indications.
Keywords: psycho-oncology, adjustment disorders, antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, thymomimetic drugs, psychoanaleptics

About the Autors

Corresponding author: Yuliya N. Zubkova, Psychiatrist, Department of Functional Diagnostics, Intensive Care and Rehabilitation, N.N. Blokhin NMRCO, Moscow, Russia; e-mail:
Address: 24, Kashirskoye Highway, Moscow, 115478 Russian Federation

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