Bottom Line: This study analyzed 17 clinical trials including 3,161 patients to evaluate medicinal cannabinoids — the chemical compounds in cannabis — for the treatment of symptoms in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Cannabinoids were associated with a limited and mild reduction in the subjective patient assessment of spasticity (contracted muscles), pain and bladder dysfunction in this systematic review and meta-analysis. A meta-analysis combines the results of multiple studies identified in a systematic review and quantitatively summarizes the overall association between the same exposure and outcomes measured across all studies. The analysis in this report suggests therapy using these drugs can be considered safe, although the number of adverse events is higher than placebo for treating symptoms in patients with MS.
Authors: Mari Carmen Torres-Moreno, Ph.D., Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Spain, and coauthors
Related Material: The invited commentary, “Cannabinoids for Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis: Benefits to Patients Still Unclear,” by Marissa Slaven, M.D., and Oren Levine, M.D., M.Sc., of McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, also is available on the For The Media website.
To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.
Editor’s Note: The article contains funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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About JAMA Network Open: JAMA Network Open is the new online-only open access general medical journal from the JAMA Network. Every Friday, the journal publishes peer-reviewed clinical research and commentary in more than 40 medical and health subject areas. Every article is free online from the day of publication.
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