“Spasticity is a disabling complication of multiple sclerosis. Some commonly used oral medications include baclofen, tizanidine, anticonvulsants and benzodiazepines, but their benefits are modest.
Sativex(®) (GW Pharmaceuticals PLC, Porton Down, UK; Laboratorios Almirall, SA, Barcelona, Spain) is a unique cannabinoid-based medicine with two main active ingredients; 9-δ-tetrahydrocannabinol, which acts mainly on cannabinoid 1 receptors in the CNS and plays a key role in the modulation of spasticity and spasms, and cannabidiol, which has different properties, including minimization of the psychoactivity associated with 9-δ-tetrahydrocannabinol. Sativex is indicated for symptomatic improvement in adult patients with moderate-to-severe multiple sclerosis-related spasticity who have not responded adequately to other first- or second-line antispasticity medications, and who demonstrate clinically significant improvement in spasticity-related symptoms during an initial trial of therapy.
Over the past couple of years, Sativex has been approved for use in a number of European countries and ongoing postmarketing studies are evaluating the possible risks associated with Sativex treatment by systematically collecting all suspected adverse reactions that occur in patients from the start of treatment. Interim data from the UK as well as Spanish Sativex safety registries confirm that clinical benefit is maintained over the longer term despite the expected trend for deterioration owing to disease progression.
Even after more than 2 years of use, no new safety/tolerability signals have emerged with Sativex, including no evidence of driving impairment and no relevant incidence of falls or other adverse events of concern, such as psychiatric or nervous system events.
Sativex appears to be a well-tolerated and useful add-on therapy in patients who have not achieved an adequate response with traditional antispastic agents.”