Cannabis Based SATIVEX® Significantly Reduces Central Neuropathic Pain in People With Multiple Sclerosis
28 Sep 2005
The cannabis based medicine, Sativex®, is effective in reducing central neuropathic pain and sleep disturbance in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in a UK study published today in the medical journal, Neurology 1.
This randomised, controlled trial demonstrates that Sativex® was significantly superior to placebo in reducing the mean intensity of pain (p=0.005) and sleep disturbance (p=0.003) amongst people with MS1.
The study was conducted in 66 patients, 65% of whom required support to walk or were wheelchair bound and were suffering from moderate to severe central neuropathic pain which had not been alleviated by currently available medications. Patients continued to take their existing medication throughout the trial1.
Sativex® was administered as an oromucosal spray allowing flexible dosing which is ideally suited to the variable nature of MS. Sativex® was generally well tolerated in the study, although more patients on Sativex® than placebo reported dizziness, dry mouth and somnolence. Cognitive side effects were limited to long-term memory storage1.
Dr. Carolyn Young, principal investigator and Consultant Neurologist based at the Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Liverpool said, “Central neuropathic pain occurs frequently in people with MS. It can be tremendously debilitating and unresponsive to existing therapies. Our findings demonstrate that Sativex was effective in reducing both central pain in MS and pain-related sleep disturbance in a population with moderate to severe central pain inadequately relieved by existing medication”.