Introduction: Pain is a serious adverse event which frequently accompanies hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The safety and efficacy of NSAIDS during HSCT is currently unknown. Salsalate is a platelet-sparing NSAID with a favorable toxicity profile compared with other NSAIDS. We report the safety and efficacy of salsalate for different types of pain during SCT. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of SCT recipients empirically treated with salsalate for > 48 h. Pain scores were assessed using the verbal rating scale for pain. A subset analysis of patients who received > 7 days of salsalate during periods of pancytopenia, mucositis, and other end-organ toxicities is included. Results: Sixty-four patients, 42 auto- and 22 allografts, were identified. Reason for use: vertebral-related pain (30%), musculoskeletal (30%), and cytokine inflammatory pain syndromes (24%). Median dose 1500 mg/day, number of treatment days = 5, started on day+5 post-HSCT. Pain resolved/improved to pain score < 4 in 76% and stable in 15%. Forty-four patients (28-auto and 16 allografts) received > 7-day salsalate. Median WBC and platelet nadir were < 0.1 and 10,000 cells/ml respectively. Efficacy: pain was improved or eradicated in 64% and stable in 32%. Toxicity: LFT elevation (n = 2), elevated serum creatinine (n = 2), and minor bleed (n = 5-nose, gums, and urine). Salsalate discontinuation (n = 6): ineffective (n = 1), the liver (n = 1), the kidney (n = 1), > 5 platelet transfusions (n = 1), and vomiting (n = 2). There was no treatment related mortality. Salsalate was well tolerated, safe, and beneficial for several different types of pain during HSCT.
- Stem cell transplantation
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