You are not logged in. Only partial content from the Question of the Day will be available to you. To view the full content of this Question of the Day, you must log in to your account. Don't have a login? Register now. Or, check out our Preview.
The Pharmacology of Cannabis and Cannabinergic Medicines
Yesterday, we discussed the buccal administration of cannabinergic medicines. Today and tomorrow, we will discuss one cannabis-containing medicine, Sativex, that is administered via an oral spray.
Editors' Note: Medical marijuana has become an important area of study in healthcare. Doctors and healthcare professionals must understand the medical, legal, social and political issues to best respond to their patients’ questions and attend to their needs. This content area is not intended to encourage or dissuade the use of medical marijuana, but has been created to provide a balanced portrayal of the research in this area. The Drug Enforcement Agency issued “The DEA Position on Marijuana” in January 2011, which is their most recent position statement and provides information about medical marijuana and issues related to the conflicts between federal and state law.
Sativex is an oral medicinal spray developed from the extracts of the marijuana plant’s leaf and flower. It contains delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol, terpenoids and flavonoids. It has been used for several years in Europe for the treatment of muscle spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (MS). Of note, Sativex is only for adult MS patients with moderate to severe spasticity who have failed other therapeutic regimens. There is insufficient data on the safety and efficacy of Sativex in individuals under 18 years old and therefore it is not recommended for use in the pediatric population.
Multiple clinical studies examining the efficacy of Sativex for the treatment of cancer pain and neuropathic pain are currently underway worldwide.