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Low dose treatment with the synthetic cannabinoid Nabilone significantly reduces spasticity-related pain : a double-blind placebo-controlled cross-over trial.

Abstract

About 30% of patients with chronic upper motor neuron syndrome (UMNS) suffer from disabling spasticity-related pain not sufficiently correctable by conventional treatment. Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC) was reported to add benefit in the treatment of pain in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The question arose whether synthetic cannabinoids with lower potential for psychotropic side effects could be effective as well. To evaluate the safety and efficacy of low dose treatment with the synthetic cannabinoid Nabilone (1 mg per day) on spasticity-related pain a placebo-controlled double-blind crossover trial was performed.11 out of 13 included patients completed the study. The 11-Point-Box-Test showed a significant decrease of pain under Nabilone (p < 0.05), while spasticity, motor function and activities of daily living did not change. 5 patients reported side effects: one moderate transient weakness of the lower limbs (Nabilone phase, drop out), three mild drowsiness (two Nabilone, one placebo) and one mild dysphagia (placebo). One patient was excluded from the study due to an acute relapse of multiple sclerosis (Nabilone phase, drop out). Nabilone 1 mg per day proved to be a safe and easily applicable option in the care of patients with chronic UMNS and spasticity-related pain otherwise not controllable.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Wissel J

    Department of Neurology, University of Innsbruck, Anichstrasse 35, 6020, Innsbruck, Austria. wissel@rehaklinik-beelitz.de

    Haydn T

    Müller J

    Brenneis C

    Berger T

    Poewe W

    Schelosky LD

    Source

    Journal of neurology 253:10 2006 Oct pg 1337-41

    MeSH

    Activities of Daily Living
    Adolescent
    Adult
    Cross-Over Studies
    Double-Blind Method
    Dronabinol
    Female
    Humans
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Motor Neuron Disease
    Muscle Spasticity
    Pain
    Pain Measurement
    Recurrence

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Randomized Controlled Trial

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    16988792