Dronabinol Is a Safe Long-Term Treatment Option for Neuropathic Pain Patients.

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“Treatment of neuropathic pain (NP) symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) is frequently insufficient. Yet, cannabis is still rarely offered for treatment of pain. This clinical trial aimed at showing the positive benefit-risk ratio of dronabinol. Two hundred forty MS patients with central NP entered a 16-weeks placebo-controlled phase-III study followed by a 32-weeks open-label period. One hundred patients continued therapy for overall up to 119 weeks. Primary endpoint was change of pain intensity on the 11-point Numerical Rating Scale over a 16-weeks treatment period. Safety was assessed on the basis of adverse reactions (ARs), signs of dependency and abuse. Pain intensity during 16-weeks dronabinol and placebo treatment was reduced by 1.92 and 1.81 points without significant difference in between (p = 0.676). Although the proportion of patients with ARs was higher under dronabinol compared to placebo (50.0 vs. 25.9%), it decreased during long-term use of dronabinol (26%). No signs of drug abuse and only one possible case of dependency occurred. The trial results demonstrate that dronabinol is a safe long-term treatment option.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29073592

“Overall, this trial demonstrated the long-lasting therapeutic potential, the good tolerability and favourable safety profile of dronabinol – especially in terms of drug abuse and dependency. Based on the presented results, there is no special focus on the harm caused by dronabinol treatment. Although the statistical proof of efficacy for dronabinol versus placebo treatment is pending, physicians should consider the potential benefits of the multifactorial effects of dronabinol.” https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/481089

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Guanfacine Attenuates Adverse Effects of Dronabinol (THC) on Working Memory in Adolescent-Onset Heavy Cannabis Users: A Pilot Study.

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“The cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1R) agonist Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis, adversely effects working memory performance in humans. The α2A-adrenoceptor (AR) agonist guanfacine improves working memory performance in humans. The authors aimed to determine the effects of short-term (6 days) treatment with guanfacine on adverse cognitive effects produced by THC.

Employing a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design, the cognitive, subjective, and cardiovascular effects produced by oral THC (20 mg) administration were determined twice in the same cannabis users: once after treatment with placebo and once after treatment with guanfacine (3 mg/day).

Although THC increased visual analog scores of subjective effects and heart rate, these increases were similar during treatment with placebo and guanfacine. THC did not significantly affect performance of a recognition memory task or blood pressure while individuals were maintained on either treatment.

Although preliminary, these results suggest that guanfacine warrants further testing as a potential treatment for cannabis-induced cognitive deficits.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28641496   http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.neuropsych.16120328

“Guanfacine (brand name EstulicTenex and the extended release Intuniv; not to be confused with guaifenesin, an expectorant) is a sympatholytic drug used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and hypertension. It is a selective α2A receptor agonist https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanfacine

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Effective treatment of spasticity using dronabinol in pediatric palliative care.

“Cannabis extracts have a wide therapeutic potential but in many countries they have not been approved for treatment in children so far.

We conducted an open, uncontrolled, retrospective study on the administration of dronabinol to determine the value, efficacy, and safety of cannabis-based medicines in the treatment of refractory spasticity in pediatric palliative care.

Sixteen children, adolescents and young adults having complex neurological conditions with spasticity (aged 1.3-26.6 years, median 12.7 years) were treated with dronabinol by our specialized pediatric palliative care team between 01.12.2010 and 30.04.2015 in a home-care setting. Therapeutic efficacy and side effects were closely monitored.

RESULTS:

Drops of the 2.5% oily tetrahydrocannabinol solution (dronabinol) were administered. A promising therapeutic effect was seen, mostly due to abolishment or marked improvement of severe, treatment resistant spasticity (n = 12). In two cases the effect could not be determined, two patients did not benefit. The median duration of treatment was 181 days (range 23-1429 days). Dosages to obtain a therapeutic effect varied from 0.08 to 1.0 mg/kg/d with a median of 0.33 mg/kg/d in patients with a documented therapeutic effect. When administered as an escalating dosage scheme, side effects were rare and only consisted in vomiting and restlessness (one patient each).

No serious and enduring side effects occurred even in young children and/or over a longer period of time.

CONCLUSIONS:

In the majority of pediatric palliative patients the treatment with dronabinol showed promising effects in treatment resistant spasticity.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27506815

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A 4-Week Pilot Study With the Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist Dronabinol and Its Effect on Metabolic Parameters in a Randomized Trial.

“Dronabinol (synthetic Δ9- tetrahydrocannabinol) is used in patients with nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy and in AIDS patients for appetite stimulation.

Recently, dronabinol was used to successfully treat visceral hypersensitivity causing noncardiac chest pain. With widening uses of this medication, we aim to explore its effects on metabolic parameters in long-term dosing and hypothesize that it will not affect major metabolic parameters.

A double-blind, placebo-controlled, 28-day trial was performed with patients 18 to 75 years old without cardiac disease…

Dronabinol administration does not significantly affect basic metabolic components after a period of 28 days.

The implications of these findings are important because dronabinol may be able to be used in patients with metabolic disorders. The favorable trends observed here warrant further exploration into its long-term effects.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26283236

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The successful use of dronabinol for failure to thrive secondary to intestinal dysmotility.

“Symptoms of severe intestinal dysmotility decrease patients’ quality of life and may prevent them from sustaining adequate oral intake. Dronabinol is a synthetic cannabinoid that is labeled for use in AIDS-related anorexia and chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting that has additional efficacy in patients with other etiologies of nausea, vomiting, and anorexia.

PRESENTATION OF CASE:

We present a 58-year-old female with a history of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and inability to maintain oral intake after multiple laparotomies for ectopic pregnancy, recurrent caecal volvulus, and cholecystitis. After eight years of unsuccessful trials of medicines, dietary modifications, and a partial colectomy, she began a trial of dronabinol, which caused almost complete remission of her symptoms. When this medication was discontinued by her payer, she was unable to maintain oral intake and therefore, was admitted to the hospital for fluid resuscitation and resumption of dronabinol.

DISCUSSION:

The use of dronabinol in this patient with severe intestinal dysmotility allowed her to maintain her nutritional status orally and obviated the need for enteral or parenteral feeding. Unfortunately, it was not covered by her insurance company for this indication.

CONCLUSION:

Dronabinol has the potential to improve quality of life for patients beyond those undergoing chemotherapy or suffering from AIDS. Lack of access to this medicine for patients with intestinal dysmotility after all other modalities have been tried can lead to morbid and expensive complications, such as inpatient admission and surgery for enteral access.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25974259

“Our experience with this demonstrates that dronabinol can be an effective and well-tolerated treatment option for nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain secondary to intestinal dysmotility where other modalities have failed.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4446691/

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On the application of cannabis in paediatrics and epileptology.

Abstract

“An initial report on the therapeutic application of delta 9-THC (THC) (Dronabinol, Marinol) in 8 children resp. adolescents suffering from the following conditions, is given: neurodegenerative disease, mitochondriopathy, posthypoxic state, epilepsy, posttraumatic reaction. THC effected reduced spasticity, improved dystonia, increased initiative (with low dose), increased interest in the surroundings, and anticonvulsive action. The doses ranged from 0.04 to 0.12 mg/kg body weight a day. The medication was given as an oily solution orally in 7 patients, via percutaneous gastroenterostomy tube in one patient. At higher doses disinhibition and increased restlessness were observed. In several cases treatment was discontinued and in none of them discontinuing resulted in any problems. The possibility that THC-induced effects on ion channels and transmitters may explain its therapeutic activity seen in epileptic patients is discussed.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15159680

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