Fibromyalgia Patients Find Pain Relief with Synthetic Marijuana
Fibromyalgia patients have found that a synthetic form of marijuana called nabilone significantly reduces pain and anxiety, Canadian researchers found. The study, published in The Journal of Pain, found those treated with nabilone had significant reductions in pain and anxiety, measured by comparisons with baseline scores.
The randomized, controlled-access trial involved 40 subjects and was conducted at the University of Manitoba Rehabilitation Hospital. The nabilone and placebo groups were treated for four weeks.
Improvement was significant, but none of the subjects had total symptom relief. The drug was well tolerated by those being treated -- fibromyalgia patients are sensitive to many medications and tolerate side effects poorly.
The study concludes despite a significant downside -- cost of treatment in Canada is $4,000 for a year's supply -- nabilone warrants consideration, the researchers.
The study findings were released in a statement by the American Pain Society, which gives the estimated number of Americans with fibromyalgia -- a condition characterized by widespread muscle and joint pain -- at 12 million.