Placebo-controlled, Double Blind Trial of Medicinal Cannabis in Painful HIV Neuropathy

May 18, 2011

Of 127 vol­un­teers screened, 34 eli­gi­ble sub­jects enrolled and 28 com­pleted both cannabis and placebo treat­ments. Among com­pleters, pain relief was greater with cannabis than placebo (median dif­fer­ence in DDS pain inten­sity change, 3.3 points, effect size = 0.60; p = 0.016). The pro­por­tions of sub­jects achiev­ing at least 30% pain relief with cannabis ver­sus placebo were 0.46 [95% CI 0.28, 0.65] and 0.18 [0.03, 0.32]. Mood and daily func­tion­ing improved to a sim­i­lar extent dur­ing both treat­ment peri­ods. Although most side effects were mild and self-limited, two sub­jects expe­ri­enced treatment-limiting toxicities.

Smoked cannabis was gen­er­ally well-tolerated and effec­tive when added to con­comi­tant anal­gesic ther­apy in patients with med­ically refrac­tory pain due to HIV DSPN.

The full results of this study were pub­lished in the jour­nal Neu­ropsy­chophar­ma­col­ogy.


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