Sativex, a Cannabis-Based Medicine, Significantly Reduces Central Neuropathic Pain

Sativex, a Cannabis-Based Medicine, Significantly Reduces Central Neuropathic Pain in People with Multiple Sclerosis

Neurology Medical Journal

London, United Kingdom, 27th September 2005: The cannabis based medicine, Sativex, is effective in reducing central neuropathic pain and sleep disturbance in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in a UK study published today in the medical journal, Neurology1. This randomised, controlled trial demonstrates that Sativex was significantly superior to placebo in reducing the mean intensity of pain (p=0.005) and sleep disturbance (p=0.003) amongst people with MS.

The study was conducted in 66 patients, 65% of whom required support to walk or were wheelchair bound and were suffering from moderate to severe central neuropathic pain which had not been alleviated by currently available medications. Patients continued to take their existing medication throughout the trial.

Sativex was administered as an oromucosal spray allowing flexible dosing which is ideally suited to the variable nature of MS. Sativex was generally well tolerated in the study.

Dr Carolyn Young, principal investigator and Consultant Neurologist based at the Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Liverpool said, "Central neuropathic pain occurs frequently in people with MS. It can be tremendously debilitating and unresponsive to existing therapies. Our findings demonstrate that Sativex was effective in reducing both central pain in MS and pain-related sleep disturbance in a population with moderate to severe central pain inadequately relieved by existing medication".

Sativex has been developed by UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals plc and is currently approved as a prescription medicine in Canada for the symptomatic relief of neuropathic pain in adults with MS. Sativex is marketed in Canada by Bayer HealthCare. An ongoing clinical trial programme is currently being undertaken to support regulatory approval in the UK. Upon UK approval, Sativex will be exclusively marketed by Bayer HealthCare.

The cannabis based medicine, Sativex, is effective in reducing central neuropathic pain and sleep disturbance in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in a UK study published today in the medical journal, Neurology.