[Cannabis-based medicines for chronic pain: indications, selection of drugs, effectiveness and safety : Experiences of pain physicians in Saarland]

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There are uncertainties among physicians with respect to the indications, selection of drugs, effectiveness and safety of cannabis-based medicines for chronic pain.

METHODS:

All statutory health insurance pain physicians in Saarland were asked to complete a self-developed questionnaire assessing their experiences with cannabis-based medicines, which they prescribed between 10 March 2017 and 30 November 2018 for adult patients with chronic cancer and non-cancer pain.

RESULTS:

All statutory health insurance pain physicians participated in the survey and 13 out of 20 reported having prescribed cannabis-based medicines. The most frequent reasons for prescriptions in 136 patients (1.9% of the patients of the institutions) were failure of established treatment (73%) and desire of the patient (63%). In 35% of patients the type of pain was nociceptive, in 34% neuropathic, in 29% nociceptive and neuropathic and in 13% nociplastic. Dronabinol was prescribed for 95% of the patients and 71% were responders (clinically relevant reduction of pain or of other symptoms). In 29% of patients treatment was terminated due to either a lack of efficacy or adverse events.

CONCLUSION:

Statutory health insurance pain physicians in Saarland were reluctant to prescribe cannabis-based medicines. Dronabinol was effective and well-tolerated in the majority of the highly selected patients.

Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bialas P1,2, Drescher B3, Gottschling S4, Juckenhöfel S5, Konietzke D5, Kuntz W6, Kühne-Adler I7, Merl-Ripplinger H8, Preisegger D9, Schneider K2, Strauß M10, Welsch P5, Häuser W11,12.

This article originally appeared here in https://www.weedworldmagazine.org/2019/06/28/medical-cannabischronic-paineffectivenesscase-seriesnon-cancer-painchronic-cancer/

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