From Our 2008 Archives
Pot Drug May Cut Fibromyalgia Pain
Latest Chronic Pain News
Preliminary Study Shows Less Pain, Better Quality of Life in Fibromyalgia Patients Taking Nabilone
Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
So say Canadian researchers, based on a preliminary, short-term study.
The study included 40 fibromyalgia patients. First, they did three things:
The researchers then split the patients into two groups.
For a month, one group of patients took nabilone daily. The other group took a placebo pill. The patients didn't know which pill they were taking.
After a month of nabilone treatment, fibromyalgia pain was less intense and quality of life had improved. No such changes were seen with the placebo.
Nabilone treatment didn't affect the patients' number of tender points. And it didn't cure fibromyalgia pain -- when patients stopped taking nabilone, their fibromyalgia pain returned to its former intensity.
Nabilone was well tolerated, but side effects were more commonly reported in the nabilone group. Those side effects -- which included drowsiness, dry mouth, vertigo, and movement problems -- were "generally mild," write the researchers.
Longer studies are needed to track the long-term effects, note the University of Manitoba's Ryan Quinlan Skrabek, MD, and colleagues.
Their study appears in the February edition of The Journal of Pain.
SOURCES: Skrabek, R. The Journal of Pain, February 2008; vol 9: pp 164-173.
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