Results from a new study investigating the benefits of Sativex in neuropathic
pain in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have shown it gave long-term pain
The study followed 42 people with MS who took Sativex - a
cannabis-based drug trialled by GW Pharmaceuticals. This randomised
withdrawal study evaluated 42 people
with central neuropathic pain who had previously been in a Sativex MS
neuropathic pain study and who continued to take Sativex on an open label basis
for 12 weeks. They were then randomised to Sativex or placebo for a further 4
weeks in a double-blinded manner. The purpose of this 4-week study was to assess
the maintenance of pain control in patients who remain on Sativex versus those
who switch to placebo.
The study found that people taking Sativex
maintained or improved their response whereas the symptoms of those on placebo
deteriorated. The latter group reported significantly higher levels of pain.
Dr Laura Bell, research communications officer at the MS Society said:
'Neuropathic pain is a significant and depressing symptom of MS and any
treatment that can offer pain relief will be a welcome step forward.
'This trial is important as it further reinforces early clinical
evidence that suggests Sativex may be an effective treatment for pain in MS.
'Sativex is also being trialled for its beneficial effects on spasticity
in MS and we look forward to the results of this study at the beginning of 2009
which will inform the UK drug regulators decision on whether to licence this in
the UK.'MS Society