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Sativex is an oromucosal or mouth spray. It was developed in the UK by GW Pharmaceuticals for patients with MS. It is used to help with some of the symptoms including spasticity, overactive bladder and nerve pain.
It is made from two components – THC or tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD or cannabidiol, both cannibinoids. They are made from a botanical process (from plants) and not a synthetic process (in a lab)
The spray comes in a little vial which delivers a dose of 2.7mg of THC and 2.5mg of CBD. The medicine is approved in Canada as a treatment for relieving the symptoms of neuropathic pain in MS. It is also approved for cancer patients experiencing pain.
It's the first pharmaceutical prescription medicine made from the cannabis or marijuana plant. It's available in a many countries as an unlicensed medicine. Doctors can prescribe it to any patients they feel may benefit from it.
The US trial has just ended and the results are promising. It began in 2006, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There were about 360 patients in the study from fourteen different countries. These included North America, Europe, Latin America, and South Africa. We can expect results from the trial to be reported in the spring of next year, 2010.
If you are an advocate of marijuana use for your MS symptoms, this step may be a good one in that direction. Even though the study was mainly for cancer patients, the benefits for MSers has long been in the news. I can't see why it wouldn't also be considered.
It is already approved in Canada as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and cancer pain. It is soon to be approved in Great Britain and the European Union.
MS pain is something that is barely understood by non-sufferers. I find myself wanting to put Cir's pain in a box with a specific cause. But with multiple sclerosis, nerves can misfire, sending the wrong information at the wrong time. The resulting pain can be located anywhere and at any intensity.
What can be done? Not much right now other than drugs with so many side effects. You trade one pain for another symptom. Which is worse? I don't know. You try living with it and then tell me.
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Cir & Akrista
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