- Alternative treatment (CAM) for MS facts
- What is complementary or alternative treatment or CAM?
- What is of multiple sclerosis (MS)?
- What are the symptoms of MS?
- What alternative treatments can be used for MS symptoms?
- What about medical marijuana (cannabis) for MS symptoms?
- Who is eligible to pursue treatment with CAM?
- How much does CAM cost?
- What are the potential risks and side effects of CAM?
- What different types of CAM were studied in the National Health Interview Survey?
What about medical marijuana (cannabis) for MS symptoms?
There have been a number of studies looking at the potential benefits of medical marijuana (cannabis) on MS symptoms, including spasticity and chronic pain. There is some suggestion that FDA approved forms of medical cannabis (Marinol or Sativex) may be beneficial in improving spasticity or bladder frequency. However, there are no reports that ingested or inhaled medical marijuana is beneficial for conditions associated with MS. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has more information about medical marijuana for MS symptoms (http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Treating-MS/Complementary-Alternative-Medicines/Marijuana)
Who is eligible to pursue treatment with CAM?
Anyone can participate CAM therapy. However, it is important to recognize that most of these therapies are not covered by insurance, and may be an "out of pocket" cost for patients with MS.
Patients who decide to pursue CAM need to share this information with their physicians, as some supplements may interact with convention medication and lead to side effects.
How much does CAM cost?
The costs of CAM can vary widely; regular exercise and yoga can be low or no-cost options, while massage therapy, acupuncture, and some supplements can be quite expensive. Every patient must have a good relationship with treating health-care professionals of traditional and non-traditional therapies to best understand potential costs.