Cannabis as new treatment for neuropathic pain

What can Cannabis do for neuropathic pain? Of course the most recent drugs which went for a worldwide approval in neuropathic pain, are backed up by many trials of good design. However, this does not mean that these drugs are per definition the best to treat neuropathic pain. The old ones might even be better, but they have lousy trials to back them up. 

74241716-Stokkete-Dreamstime-INP-Instituut-voor-Neuropathische-Pijn cannabis neuropathic painA new update on the best choice of drugs in neuropathic pain, using the classical approach one finds what would be expected. The research group used the search term “neuropathic pain” as well as: pregabalin, paroxetine CR, duloxetine, tramadol XL, Tramacet, Sativex, and nabilone.

What a surprise that they concluded the following:

Based on a thorough evaluation of the literature, pregabalin, paroxetine CR, and Duloxetine have been placed in the updated algorithm as first-line agents, while tramadol XL, Tramacet, Sativex, and nabilone function primarily as adjunctive agents. [1]

It would seem we can forget about Amitriptyline. There is one good thing in this review: Cannabis is mentioned as a adjunctive agent. Now that is good news, as we think Cannabis products are at least as effective in some patients compared to thye opoids, and the safety is much better!

Institute for Neuropathic Pain (INP)

This site helps patients and treating physicians, neurologists, anesthesiologists and other pain specialists to find the best and most up to date research findings. Which are related to neuropathy and neuropathic pain and the treatment thereof.

In our Institute we are specialized in treating patients suffering from neuropathic pain and neuropathy following an Integrated Medicine concept. Part of our activities are within the field of consultation. We assist pharmaceutical companies in R&D strategies related to finding new drugs to treat neuropathic pain and neuropathy. 

February 2010, Jan M. Keppel Hesselink, MD, PhD
‘Cannabis as new treatment for neuropathic pain’

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[1] Namaka M, Leong C, Grossberndt A, Klowak M, Turcotte D, Esfahani F, Gomori A, Intrater H. | A treatment algorithm for neuropathic pain: an update. | Consult Pharm. | 2009 Dec;24(12):885-902.

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