Sativex for the management of multiple sclerosis symptoms.Issues Emerg Health Technol 2005; (72):1-4IE
Sativex (R) is a cannabis-based pharmaceutical product containing delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in a 1:1 ratio, delivered in an oromucosal (mouth) spray. It has been approved as adjunctive treatment for neuropathic pain in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). It is being investigated for the management of other MS symptoms, such as spasticity. THC:CBD spray is regulated as a narcotic. Five randomized controlled trials (RCTs) compared the benefits and harms of THC:CBD spray with placebo. A total of 368 patients with various neurological conditions (including MS) were recruited. In some trials, THC:CBD spray significantly reduced neuropathic pain, spasticity, muscle spasms and sleep disturbances. The most common adverse events (AEs) reported in trials were dizziness, sleepiness, fatigue, feeling of intoxication and a bad taste. Long-term safety and the potential for dependence, abuse, misuse and diversion are unknown.