Paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy is the most important side effect limiting the use of this medication.
This study aimed to compare the effects of omega-3 and vitamin E on the incidence of peripheral neuropathy in patients receiving Taxol.
In this clinical trial, 63 patients who were a candidate for receiving taxol, were enrolled based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. In group O, patients received 640 mg omega-3 three times a day, and group E, received 300 mg vitamin E two times a day. Patients took the supplements up to three months after the onset of Taxol. Group P received placebo for a similar period. All patients referred to a neurologist for electrophysiological evaluation before the onset of chemotherapy and at months 1 and 3. The presence of neuropathy and its progression was recorded by the neurologist.
Neurological examination in this study indicated that 6 patients (28.6%) in Group O, 7 patients (33.3%) in group E, and 15 patients (71.4%) in placebo group started peripheral neuropathy. There was a significant difference between intervention groups and the placebo group (p = 0.0001) and no significant difference between intervention groups (p = 0.751).
Our data suggested that vitamin E and omega-3 may significantly reduce the incidence of Paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy. Routine administration of such supplements that have no special side effect for patients under chemotherapy may greatly enhance their quality of life.