CANNABINOIDS Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics

IACM-Bulletin of 17 August 2008

Science: Cannabinoids as effective as other medications against neuropathic pain in a prospective observational study

Scientists at the University of Calgary, Canada, compared the effects of different medications used in the treatment of NEUROPATHIC PAIN in an observational study with 182 patients. From July 2003 until December 2005 patients with NEUROPATHIC PAIN of different causes, taking no other medication than weak analgesics (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and referred to the Neuromuscular Clinic were included into the study.

More than one third of patients was given gabapentin (37 per cent) as first medication. Other medications given first in more than 10 per cent of patients were pregabalin, topirimate and amitryptiline. Cannabinoids (nabilone and Sativex) were given to 5 per cent of patients as first line therapy. Authors stated that "reasons for selecting gabapentin were typically because of anticipation of minor side effects, familiarity with its use, and nearly universal coverage through third party insurance agencies". There were no serious adverse events for patients by any of the medications. Prevalence of intolerable side effects was similar among the different groups of medications. Mean PAIN relief three and six months after beginning of treatment was also similar among the different medications.

(Source: Toth C, Au S. A prospective identification of NEUROPATHIC PAIN in specific chronic polyneuropathy syndromes and response to pharmacological therapy. PAIN. 2008 Aug 6. [Electronic publication ahead of print])


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