Fibromyalgia Pain Relief with Marijuana-based Drug
Posted Jan 17 2011 5:49pm
is difficult to diagnose and has no cure. Current treatments are directed at controlling pain and stress related to the disease.
Researchers at the University of Manitoba Rehabilitation Hospital recently conducted a clinical trial for nabilone. Nabilone is a synthetic compound that mimics tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main ingredient in marijuana. Nabilone has been approved for use in treating nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy.
The randomized, controlled-access trial involved 40 fibromyalgia patients that were divided into two groups for the 4 week study. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the pain reduction and quality of life improvement in patients.
The group given the nabilone exhibited significant improvement in pain and reduction in anxiety compared to baseline scores on the visual analogue scale for pain, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and the FIQ anxiety score.
The researchers also concluded that treatment with nobilone provided significant functional improvement in fibromyalgia patients. However, nobilone did not eliminate the symptoms completely.
The study, published in The Journal of Pain, noted that the drug was well tolerated by patients, which was characterized as reassuring since fibromyalgia patients are generally sensitive to most medications and have difficulty tolerating side effects. The downside, however, is cost. In Canada, nabilone would cost about $4,000 for a year’s supply.