Cannabis-based medicine

Cannabis-based medicine (sativex®) provides relief of spasticity for patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Cannabis-based medicine (sativex®) provides relief of spasticity for patients with Multiple Sclerosis

London, United Kingdom, 28th February 2007: Sativex, a cannabis based medicine, has been shown to significantly reduce intractable spasticity (spasms and stiffness) in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) reports a study published in the medical journal, European Journal of Neurology, today1.

In a randomised, double-blind trial, led by Professor Christine Collin from the Royal Berkshire and Battle NHS Trust, Reading, UK, Sativex demonstrated significant superiority to placebo in reducing spasticity (p<0.05) in people with MS1. Further, despite having achieved the maximum benefit on existing anti-spasticity medication, 40% of patients achieved more than a 30% improvement in their spasticity following treatment with Sativex.

The six week study was conducted in 189 MS patients, all of whom were experiencing significant levels of spasticity and had failed to gain adequate relief from currently available anti-spasticity medications. Patients enrolled in the study continued to take their existing medication throughout the trial1.

Spasticity is one of the most common symptoms of MS, occurring in up to 84% of people with MS1.  Spasticity can severely impact quality of life affecting daily activities such as walking and sitting.  It is one of the most difficult symptoms of MS to treat1. Professor Christine Collin, principal investigator and Consultant Neurorehabilitation Specialist commented, "Spasticity can be tremendously debilitating and is notoriously difficult to treat.  Our findings provide encouraging evidence of the effectiveness of Sativex in reducing the symptoms of spasticity in some difficult to treat people with MS who have failed to gain enough improvement from currently available medication.”

Christine Jones, Chief Executive of the MS Trust said, "Effective relief of spasticity is extremely important to people with MS.  Spasticity and muscle spasms are not only distressing and painful, they can have a negative impact on quality of life.  The results of this study add to the growing body of evidence that cannabis-based medicines can be effective in helping to relieve this common symptom of MS."

“Spasticity can make the simple daily activities that most people take for granted, seem daunting. Just dressing and moving around the home can be difficult and I often have to rely on a carer for support.  With Sativex, I’m able to choose how much I take depending on how bad my symptoms are - which is a real benefit” added Fern Andrews, who has taken part in clinical trials with Sativex.

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