Navigation Links
Marijuana Extract May Not Relieve MS Spasms: Review
Date:12/12/2012

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A cannabis-based prescription drug called Sativex, used to treat debilitating muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, is the subject of a large new evidence review. Whether the drug -- licensed for use in the United Kingdom -- actually gets the job done remains uncertain.

Cannabinoids are active ingredients in marijuana. Sativex is not currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which considers it an investigational drug as clinical trials are under way.

In Britain, Sativex mouth spray is prescribed for patients only as an alternative treatment when standard therapies fail to provide adequate symptom relief.

And now a British team's review of previous studies upon which its initial U.K. approval had been granted suggests that although Sativex appeared to offer some benefit, the studies themselves contain design flaws or insufficiencies that may make the conclusions unreliable.

"Our findings were that the medicine has a small beneficial effect," said David Phizackerley, the London-based deputy editor of the journal Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, which published the study Dec. 12.

"However, we identified problems with the clinical trials of the drug," he added. "The trials compared the drug against placebo rather than against another drug, some of the trials were short, some included small numbers of patients; some trials didn't show a benefit from using the drug and some trials used a dose greater than the recommended dose," Phizackerley said.

"[So] at the moment there is limited evidence that this particular formulation of cannabis extract has a small beneficial effect in relieving the symptoms of spasticity in patients with MS," he explained.

The authors stressed that their review focused solely on investigations of the Sativex formulation. None of the studies explored the use of marijuana in its recreational or homegrown form for the treatment of spasticity, which afflicts about 60 percent of MS patients.

That said, the review team noted that many studies were of limited clinical usefulness, given that patients only took Sativex for between six weeks and four months. No study set out to compare Sativex against other standard spasm-control medications, whereas others had patients routinely take Sativex beyond the maximum use (12 sprays daily) approved by U.K. authorities.

However, the British research team did cite one study that was well designed. And the result of that investigation: Sativex patients fared no better than patients not given the drug.

Sativex is by no means a cheap therapy, Phizackerley noted. At roughly $2.25 per spray, it costs upwards of 10 times more than standard spasm-control drugs.

So while acknowledging that additional research is now exploring a range of cannabis extract formulations, including tablets and capsules, he and his colleagues concluded that for the moment there is not yet enough evidence to warrant recommending that doctors and MS patients turn to this medication as a proven approach for the relief of spasms.

Nicholas LaRocca, vice president of health care delivery and policy research with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, said that although the Sativex option is not an approved drug intervention in the United States, "there is obviously a need for additional therapies for the many symptoms of MS."

LaRocca said: "I think this analysis speaks for itself. Clearly, right now there's insufficient data available to recommend Sativex for targeting spasticity. And because it's not available here, we mostly just have anecdotal reporting from patients who go ahead and use marijuana on their own. And there's an inability to verify these reports, which just raises questions about uncontrolled long-term use and safety."

So, LaRocca added, "for now it remains an open question. And certainly there needs to be more research to look into this issue more deeply, because the larger issue is that there are treatments available, but they don't necessarily work as well for everyone, because everyone with MS is a little bit different."

More information

For more on multiple sclerosis, visit the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

SOURCES: David Phizackerley, deputy editor, Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, BMJ Group, London; Nicholas G. LaRocca, Ph.D., vice president, health care delivery and policy research, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, New York City; Dec. 12, 2012, Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Study shows no evidence medical marijuana increases teen drug use
2. 1 in 10 Fibromyalgia Patients Uses Marijuana to Ease Pain
3. Diverted Medical Marijuana Use Common Among Teens: Study
4. Adolescents in substance abuse programs report using others med marijuana
5. Heavy Marijuana Use in Teen Years May Lower IQ Later
6. Marijuana use may increase risk of testicular cancer
7. Algae extract increases good cholesterol levels, Wayne State research finds
8. New options for ease and accuracy in extraction of rare cells or separating blood
9. Deer Antler Velvet Extract to Advertise with MMA World Wide
10. hCGTreatments / Diet Doc hCG Diets & Weight Loss Plans Adds Prescription Strength Saffron Extract Diet Pills to Their Exhaustive Product Line
11. New Pill Might Relieve Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Marijuana Extract May Not Relieve MS Spasms: Review 
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... ... Medicine recently spoke at a popular international aesthetics conference for medical professionals about ... restoring his patients’ health and his growing practice. , Dr. George K. ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... TX (PRWEB) , ... August 22, 2017 , ... Five Star Glass is new to ... provide repair and replacement of auto glass for most makes and models, in Grand Prairie, ... the USA. , They have been a family owned business for the past 40 ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... ... “Glimpses Of Light”: is a unique and thought inspiring guide toward self-discovery ... published author, J.M. Shepherd, a writer, teacher, traveler, and metaphysician, the author has spent ... shares, “Love is one of the least understood and yet most sought-after pleasures known ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... PracticeMatch, a company that ... healthcare employers connect with physicians and advanced practitioners like nurse practitioners and ... in August through November of this year. The online career fairs will allow ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... , ... August 21, 2017 , ... ... announced that it has become the Official Technology Partner of North Country Region ... (Advanced Event Systems) volleyball software, along with providing sport management software to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/14/2017)... and PETACH TIKVAH, Israel ... (NASDAQ: BCLI), a leading developer of adult stem cell ... second quarter ending June 30, 2017. ... of preparing for our pivotal Phase 3 trial to ... Lebovits , President and Chief Executive Officer of BrainStorm. ...
(Date:8/8/2017)... Aug. 8, 2017  BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ/TASE: BLRX), a ... reports its financial results for the second quarter ended ... the second quarter 2017 and to date: ... development programs for the Company,s lead project, BL-8040: ... study with BL-8040 as novel stem cell mobilization treatment ...
(Date:8/7/2017)... WARSAW, Ind. , Aug. 7, 2017 Zimmer ... in musculoskeletal healthcare, today announced that its Board of Directors ... stockholders for the third quarter of 2017. ... will be paid on or about October 27, 2017 to ... September 22, 2017.  Future declarations of dividends are subject to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: