“Agitation is a prevalent and difficult-to-treat symptom in patients with moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Though there are nonpharmacological and pharmacological interventions recommended for the treatment of agitation, the efficacy of these are modest and not always consistent. Furthermore, the safety profiles of currently prescribed medications are questionable.
Nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, has a distinct pharmacological profile that may provide a safer and more effective treatment for agitation, while potentially having benefits for weight and pain. Additionally, emerging evidence suggests nabilone may have neuroprotective effects.
We describe a clinical trial investigating the safety and efficacy of nabilone for the treatment of agitation in patients with moderate-to-severe AD.
A safe and efficacious pharmacological intervention for agitation, with effects on pain and weight loss in patients with moderate-to-severe AD could increase quality-of-life, reduce caregiver stress and avoid unnecessary institutionalization and related increases in health care costs.”
“Nabilone is a man-made drug similar to the natural substances found in marijuana (cannabis).” https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-144706/nabilone-oral/details
“Nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, is approved in many countries including, but not limited to, Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the United Kingdom for the treatment of severe nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. Clinical evidence is emerging for its use in managing pain conditions with different etiologies. We review the efficacy and safety of nabilone for various types of pain as well as its abuse potential, precautions and contraindications, and drug interactions; summarize pertinent clinical practice guidelines; and provide recommendations for dosing, monitoring, and patient education.
Nabilone was most commonly used as adjunctive therapy and led to small but significant reductions in pain. The most common adverse drug reactions included euphoria, drowsiness, and dizziness. Nabilone was rarely associated with severe adverse drug reactions requiring drug discontinuation, and the likelihood of abuse was thought to be low. Although the optimal role of nabilone in the management of pain is yet to be determined, certain clinical practice guidelines consider nabilone as a third-line agent.”
“Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition present in 2-4% of the population. Fibromyalgia consists of widespread pain with similarities to neuropathic pain in clinical findings, pathophysiology, and neuropharmacology. Pain is the predominant symptom and allodynia and hyperalgesia are common signs. Extreme fatigue, impaired cognition and nonrestorative sleep difficulties coexist in addition to other somatic symptoms.
Research including neuroimaging investigations shows abnormalities in neurotransmitters and an abnormal response to pain. Altered pain processing peripherally and centrally contribute to central sensitization and a dampened effect of the diffuse noxious inhibitory control (DNIC).
Successful management incorporates education of the patient in self-management skills, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exercise, and drug therapy.
Tricyclic antidepressants, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) (duloxetine and milnacipran), α2-δ ligands (gabapentin and pregabalin) are effective in reducing pain by≥30%. Some success has been shown with dopamine agonists (pramipexole), tramadol, other opioids and cannabinoids(nabilone).
Further evidence-based trials using complementary treatments are needed. Fibromyalgia is complex and requires a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. Patient self-management is key.”
“The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and efficiency of an add-on treatment with the synthetic cannabinomimetic nabilone on patients with chronic pain. Of major interest were the evaluation of the influence the treatment had on pain and on quality of life as well as the subjective assessment of positive effects and side effects by the study participants…
In summary, the study results allow the conclusion that a majority of patients with chronic pain classify nabilone intake in addition to the standard treatment as a measure with a positive individual benefit-riskratio. Thus, this kind of treatment may be an interesting and attractive enrichment of analgetic therapy concepts.”
“A prospective observational study assessed the effectiveness of adjuvant nabilone (Cesamet) therapy in managing pain and symptoms experienced by advanced cancer patients… When compared with those not taking nabilone, patients using this cannabinoid had a lower rate of starting nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, tricyclic antidepressants, gabapentin, dexamethasone, metoclopramide, and ondansetron and a greater tendency to discontinue these drugs.”
“Cannabis may have medicinal uses in a variety of diseases. The neural mechanisms underlying dystonia involve abnormalities within the basal ganglia-in particular, overactivity of the lateral globus pallidus (GPl). Cannabinoid receptors are located presynaptically on GABA terminals within the GPi, where their activation reduces GABA reuptake. Cannabinoid receptor stimulation may thus reduce overactivity of the GPl and thereby reduce dystonia. A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, crossover study using the synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist nabilone in patients with generalised and segmental primary dystonia showed no significant reduction in dystonia following treatment with nabilone.”
“The anxiolytic properties of nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid resembling the natural cannabinoids, were studied in 25 outpatients suffering from anxiety. The drug was compared with a placebo in a double-blind manner over a 28-day treatment period. Patients were seen weekly by the physician and were rated by the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety and the Patient’s Global Evaluation as well as by patient-rated evaluations. The results of the study showed a dramatic improvement in anxiety in the nabilone group when compared with placebo (P less than 0.001). Side effects reported were dry mouth, dry eyes, and drowsiness. Patients did not report any of the subjective “altered state” experience of marihuana.”