A Cost-Effectiveness Model for Adjunctive Smoked Cannabis in the Treatment of Chronic Neuropathic Pain

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“A recent meta-analysis affirmed the benefit of medicinal cannabis for chronic neuropathic pain, a disabling and difficult-to-treat condition. As medicinal cannabis use is becoming increasingly prevalent among Americans, an exploration of its economic feasibility is warranted. We present this cost-effectiveness analysis of adjunctive cannabis pharmacotherapy for chronic peripheral neuropathy.

A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates reproducible efficacy of cannabis in the treatment of several medical conditions, including chronic neuropathic pain. Clinical trials of oral, smoked, and vaporized cannabis and cannabinoids have all demonstrated analgesic benefit of medicinal cannabis in the treatment of this costly and disabling condition. A recent meta-analysis of individual patient data from five randomized controlled trials of inhaled cannabis demonstrated pain relief comparable to gabapentin. Treatment guidelines for neuropathic pain recommend consideration of cannabinoids as third-line agents.

As recently proposed willingness-to-pay thresholds for the United States health marketplace range from $110,000 to $300,000 per QALY, cannabis appears cost-effective when augmenting second-line treatment for painful neuropathy. Further research is warranted to explore the long-term benefit of smoked cannabis and standardization of its dosing for chronic neuropathic pain.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30944870

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2018.0027

“New study analyzes cost effectiveness of smoked cannabis to treat chronic neuropathic pain” https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-01/mali-nsa012919.php

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Impact of co-administration of oxycodone and smoked cannabis on analgesia and abuse liability.

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“Cannabinoids combined with opioids produce synergistic antinociceptive effects, decreasing the lowest effective antinociceptive opioid dose (i.e., opioid-sparing effects) in laboratory animals.

Although pain patients report greater analgesia when cannabis is used with opioids, no placebo-controlled studies have assessed the direct effects of opioids combined with cannabis in humans or the impact of the combination on abuse liability.

This double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject study determined if cannabis enhances the analgesic effects of low dose oxycodone using a validated experimental model of pain and its effects on abuse liability.

Cannabis enhances the analgesic effects of sub-threshold oxycodone, suggesting synergy, without increases in cannabis’s abuse liability. These findings support future research into the therapeutic use of opioid-cannabinoid combinations for pain.”

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Smoked marijuana attenuates performance and mood disruptions during simulated night shift work.

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“Individuals who work nonstandard schedules, such as rotating or night shifts, are more susceptible to workplace injuries, performance decrements, and reduced productivity. This population is also almost twice as likely to use illicit drugs as individuals working a standard day shift. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of smoked marijuana on performance, mood, and sleep during simulated shift work.

Ten experienced marijuana smokers completed this 23-day, within-participant residential study. They smoked a single marijuana cigarette (0, 1.9, 3.56% Δ9-THC) one hour after waking for three consecutive days under two shift conditions: day shift and night shift. Shifts alternated three times during the study, and shift conditions were separated by an ‘off’ day. When participants smoked placebo cigarettes, psychomotor performance and subjective-effect ratings were altered during the night shift compared to the day shift: performance (e.g., vigilance) and a few subjective ratings were decreased (e.g., “Self-Confident”), whereas other ratings were increased (e.g., “Tired”). Objective and subjective measures of sleep were also disrupted, but to a lesser extent.

Marijuana attenuated some performance, mood, and sleep disruptions: participants performed better on vigilance tasks, reported being less miserable and tired and sleep a greater number of minutes. Limited negative effects of marijuana were noted. These data demonstrate that abrupt shift changes produce performance, mood, and sleep decrements during night shift work and that smoked marijuana containing low to moderate Δ9-THC concentrations can offset some of these effects in frequent marijuana smokers.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28728115

http://www.drugandalcoholdependence.com/article/S0376-8716(17)30309-5/fulltext

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Acute Effects of Smoked Marijuana and Oral Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on Specific Airway Conductance in Asthmatic Subjects

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“The acute effects of smoked 2 per cent natural marijuana (7 mg per kg) and 15 mg of oral Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on plethysmographically determined airway resistance (Raw) and specific airway conductance (SGaw) were compared with those of placebo in 10 subjects with stable bronchial asthma using a double-blind crossover technique.

After smoked marijuana, SGaw increased immediately and remained significantly elevated (33 to 48 per cent above initial control values) for at least 2 hours, whereas SGaw did not change after placebo. The peak bronchodilator effect of 1,250 µg of isoproterenol was more pronounced than that of marijuana, but the effect of marijuana lasted longer.

After ingestion of 15 mg of THC, SGaw was elevated significantly at 1 and 2 hours, and Raw was reduced significantly at 1 to 4 hours, whereas no changes were noted after placebo.

These findings indicated that in the asthmatic subjects, both smoked marijuana and oral THC caused significant bronchodilation of at least 2 hours’ duration.”  http://www.atsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1164/arrd.1974.109.4.420?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3dpubmed

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Effects of smoked marijuana in experimentally induced asthma.

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“After experimental induction of acute bronchospasm in 8 subjects with clinically stable bronchial asthma, effects of 500 mg of smoked marijuana (2.0 per cent delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol) on specific airway conductance and thoracic gas volume were compared with those of 500 mg of smoked placebo marijuana (0.0 per cent delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol), 0.25 ml of aerosolized saline, and 0.25 ml of aerosolized isoproterenol (1,250 mug).

After methacholine-induced bronchospasm, placebo marijuana and saline inhalation produced minimal changes in specific airway conductance and thoracic gas volume, whereas 2.0 per cent marijuana and isoproterenol each caused a prompt correction of the bronchospasm and associated hyperinflation. After exercise-induced bronchospasm, placebo marijuana and saline were followed by gradual recovery during 30 to 60 min, whereas 2.0 per cent marijuana and isoproterenol caused an immediate reversal of exercise-induced asthma and hyperinflation.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1099949

“After exercise-induced bronchospasm, placebo marijuana and saline were followed by gradual recovery during 30 to 60 min, whereas 2.0 per cent marijuana and isoproterenol caused an immediate reversal of exercise-induced asthma and hyperinflation.”
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Synergy between cannabidiol, cannabidiolic acid, and Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol in the regulation of emesis in the Suncus murinus (house musk shrew).

“Smoked marijuana contains over 100 different cannabinoids, including the psychoactive compound Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

THC, CBD, and its acidic precursor, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), have all been shown to have antiemetic properties in the Suncus murinus.

Here we show that when subthreshold antiemetic doses of CBD or CBDA are combined with a subthreshold antiemetic dose of THC in the S. murinus, both lithium-chloride-induced vomiting and abdominal retching are dramatically suppressed.

These results suggest that combined effects of these compounds may lead to better control of vomiting with fewer side effects.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26030435

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/nauseavomiting/

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Foot Pain Associated With HIV Reduced By Smoked Cannabis In Placebo Trial

“In a randomized placebo-controlled trial, patients smoking cannabis experienced a 34 percent reduction in intense foot pain associated with HIV- twice the rate experienced by patients who smoked placebo.

“This placebo-controlled clinical trial showed that people with HIV who smoked cannabis had substantially greater pain reduction than those who did not smoke the cannabis,” said study lead author Donald I. Abrams, MD, UCSF professor of clinical medicine.

 “These results provide evidence that there is a measurable medical benefit to smoking cannabis for these patients.”

The results of this first study indicate that cannabis may indeed be useful in the amelioration of a very distressing, disabling, and difficult to treat complication of HIV…”

More: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/62917.php

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Smoked cannabis proven effective in treating neuropathic pain.

UC San Diego Health

“Smoked cannabis eased pain induced in healthy volunteers, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR.) However, the researchers found that less may be more.”

“The results, showing a medium-dose (4% THC by weight) of cannabis to be an effective analgesic, converged with results from the CMCR’s first published study, a paper by UCSF researcher Donald Abrams, M.D. published in the journal Neurology in February 2007. In that randomized placebo-controlled trial, patients smoking the same dose of cannabis experienced a 34% reduction in HIV-associated sensory neuropathy pain—twice the rate experienced by patients receiving a placebo.”

““This study helps to build a case that cannabis does have therapeutic value at a medium-dose level,” said Grant. “It also suggests that higher doses aren’t necessarily better in certain situations – something also observed with other medications, such as antidepressants.””

Read more: http://phys.org/news112456382.html

“Smoked Cannabis Proven Effective In Treating Neuropathic Pain”  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071024141745.htm

“Smoked cannabis proven effective in treating neuropathic pain”  https://medicalxpress.com/news/2007-10-cannabis-proven-effective-neuropathic-pain.html

“Smoked Cannabis Proven Effective in Treating Neuropathic Pain”  https://health.ucsd.edu/news/2007/pages/10-24-medical-cannabis.aspx
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Medicinal Marijuana Eases Neuropathic Pain in HIV – ABC News

“(HealthDay News) — Medicinal marijuana helps relieve neuropathic pain in people with HIV, says a University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine study.

It included 28 HIV patients with neuropathic pain that wasn’t adequately controlled by opiates or other pain relievers. The researchers found that 46 percent of patients who smoked medicinal marijuana reported clinically meaningful pain relief, compared with 18 percent of those who smoked a placebo.

The study, published online Aug. 6 in Neuropsychopharmacology, was sponsored by the University of California Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR).

“Neuropathy is a chronic and significant problem in HIV patients as there are few existing treatments that offer adequate pain management to sufferers,” study leader Dr. Ronald J. Ellis, an associate professor of neurosciences, said in an UCSD news release. “We found that smoked cannabis was generally well-tolerated and effective when added to the patient’s existing pain medication, resulting in increased pain relief.”

The findings are consistent with and extend other recent CMCR-sponsored research supporting the short-term effectiveness of medicinal marijuana in treating neuropathic pain.

“This study adds to a growing body of evidence that indicates that cannabis is effective, in the short-term at least, in the management of neuropathic pain,” Dr. Igor Grant, a professor of psychiatry and director of the CMCR, said in the UCSD news release.”

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=5528635&page=1

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Smoked cannabis for chronic neuropathic pain: a randomized controlled trial.

“Cannabis sativa has been used to treat pain since the third millennium BC. An endogenous pain-processing system has been identified, mediated by endogenous cannabinoid ligands acting on specific cannabinoid receptors.These findings, coupled with anecdotal evidence of the analgesic effects of smoked cannabis, support a reconsideration of cannabinoid agents as analgesics.”

“Oral cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and nabilone have, alone and in combination, shown efficacy in central and peripheral neuropathic pain, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.”

“We conducted a clinical trial using a standardized single-dose delivery system to explore further the safety and efficacy of smoked cannabis in outpatients with chronic neuropathic pain.”

“Conclusion

A single inhalation of 25 mg of 9.4% tetrahydrocannabinol herbal cannabis three times daily for five days reduced the intensity of pain, improved sleep and was well tolerated.”

“Our results support the claim that smoked cannabis reduces pain, improves mood and helps sleep. We believe that our trial provides a methodological approach that may be considered for further research. Clinical studies using inhaled delivery systems, such as vaporizers, are needed.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2950205/

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