Study backs use of cannabis-based Sativex to treat MS
According to data published in the European Journal of Neurology, about half of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients who failed to respond to standard therapy experienced an improvement in spasticity after taking Sativex Oromucosal Spray (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol).
The trial showed Sativex induced a significant improvement in scores of spasticity, spasm frequency and sleep disturbance related to spasticity compared to a placebo. Following the four-week, single-blind therapeutic trial period involving 572 patients, Sativex was shown to have reduced the mean score for spasticity, with 48% of patients achieving a clinically meaningful improvement of ≥20% in spasticity severity.
Of these responders, 241 took part in a 12-week, randomized, placebo-controlled trial phase, at the end of which the number of patients reporting an improvement in spasticity scores of ≥30% was significantly greater in the Sativex group (74%) than in the control arm (51%).
Sativex was approved by health regulators in the U.K. and Spain last year, but only in patients who have not responded to other medication and who show a clinically significant improvement in symptoms during a trial run of therapy.