Dave Stancliff British use cannabis in hospital treatment for cancer sufferers blogarama.com

Monday, September 12, 2011

British use cannabis in hospital treatment for cancer sufferers

Cannabis-based medicine spray (Pic:PA)

CANCER sufferers will be prescribed a spray containing cannabis as a new form of pain relief treatment. Experts say the medication – derived from marijuana plants – works by numbing the muscles.

It will be given to terminally-ill hospital patients as part of a ground-breaking trial. But Sativex does not get users high. Research nurse Sam Jole said: “Patients using the spray do not experience the euphoria associated with illegal recreational use of cannabis.

“It has passed strict tests for quality, safety and efficacy and doctors already prescribe it to other patients.” Multiple sclerosis sufferers have been able to get Sativex on prescription since last summer but the medication has never been used in hospitals anywhere in the world before.

Patients taking part in the trial at North Manchester General Hospital and Fairfield General Hospital in Greater Manchester will be asked to spray it under their tongue up to 10 times a day. Eight patients have signed up and 32 others will be recruited over the next two years. If the trial is a success, Sativex could be passed for use in hospitals across the country.

Dr Iain Lawrie, a consultant at North Manchester General Hospital, said: “This study is an exciting development in the field of cancer pain management. Initial observations suggest Sativex will have an important role to play in palliative care.”

Daily Mirror 3/09/2011

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