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Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis in Fibromyalgia

1
Department of Rheumatology, Rabin Medical Center, Petach Tikva 49100, Israel
2
Cannabis Clinical Research Institute, Soroka University Medical Center and Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be′er-Sheva 84101, Israel
3
Research Department, Tikun Olam LTD, Tel-Aviv 6296602, Israel
4
Department of Rheumatology, Soroka University Medical Center and Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be′er-Sheva 84101, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to the manuscript.
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(6), 807; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8060807
Received: 19 March 2019 / Revised: 21 May 2019 / Accepted: 2 June 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Anesthesiology)
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Abstract

Background: Chronic pain may be treated by medical cannabis. Yet, there is scarce evidence to support the role of medical cannabis in the treatment of fibromyalgia. The aim of the study was to investigate the characteristics, safety, and effectiveness of medical cannabis therapy for fibromyalgia. Methods: A prospective observational study with six months follow-up period based on fibromyalgia patients who were willing to answer questionnaire in a specialized medical cannabis clinic between 2015 and 2017. Results: Among the 367 fibromyalgia patients, the mean age was 52.9 ± 15.1, of whom 301 (82.0%) were women. Twenty eight patients (7.6%) stopped the treatment prior to the six months follow-up. The six months response rate was 70.8%. Pain intensity (scale 0–10) reduced from a median of 9.0 at baseline to 5.0 (p < 0.001), and 194 patients (81.1%) achieved treatment response. In a multivariate analysis, age above 60 years (odds ratio [OR] 0.34, 95% C.I 0.16–0.72), concerns about cannabis treatment (OR 0.36, 95% C.I 0.16–0.80), spasticity (OR 2.26, 95% C.I 1.08–4.72), and previous use of cannabis (OR 2.46 95% C.I 1.06–5.74) were associated with treatment outcome. The most common adverse effects were mild and included dizziness (7.9%), dry mouth (6.7%), and gastrointestinal symptoms (5.4%). Conclusion: Medical cannabis appears to be a safe and effective alternative for the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms. Standardization of treatment compounds and regimens are required.
Keywords: medical cannabis; fibromyalgia; quality of life; chronic pain medical cannabis; fibromyalgia; quality of life; chronic pain
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Sagy, I.; Bar-Lev Schleider, L.; Abu-Shakra, M.; Novack, V. Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis in Fibromyalgia. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 807.

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