Sativex?

A cannabis derived drug which has been approved in some countries to treat muscle spasticity.

Sativex?

Postby Bender » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:34 pm

What's the story with this? I'm seeing that it was developed for ms, but there're only trials in the US for using it to treat cancer pain.
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Postby Loobie » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:08 am

It apparently works as it is NOT synthetic THC, but rather an extract. Actual MJ works better I've heard, but I've also heard it's very expensive.
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Re: Sativex?

Postby HarryZ » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:24 am

Bender wrote:What's the story with this? I'm seeing that it was developed for ms, but there're only trials in the US for using it to treat cancer pain.


Sativex became available in 2005 (I think that was the year) and Canada was the first country to approve it. That was ironic because the drug was developed in the UK.

My wife(passed away in 2007) used it for a few months to help treat the leg spasms and resulting pain that she was experiencing with her MS at the time. It did help her a lot after using it for that time.

She didn't have any side effects. It was kind of pricey at the time and can only assume it still is.

Hope this helps.

Harry
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Re: Sativex?

Postby Cannabis4MSinBC » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:40 am

The USA probably won't approve it anytime soon, likely for fear that people will try to start smoking. Besides, pharmaceutical companies in the USA are quietly working on their own version, growing and testing cannabis for extraction, hoping to undercut that UK business in the hopes of keeping profits from disappearing overseas. Health Canada also recently adapted the criteria for Sativex, now indicating that it is useful for patients with cancer and Aids/HIV. And though the original intention was for treatment of MS symptoms, it rarely prescribed (in Canada) to MS patients. Honestly, I've spoken with a great many people who have it prescribed for everything else except MS.
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Re: Sativex?

Postby HarryZ » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:18 am

And though the original intention was for treatment of MS symptoms, it rarely prescribed (in Canada) to MS patients. Honestly, I've spoken with a great many people who have it prescribed for everything else except MS.


I think my wife was one of the first MS patients in Canada to get Sativex for her MS. I can remember going to the family doc at the time and pointing out that is was available.

I'm thinking one of the reasons MS patients here don't use it very much is the cost and possibly because you can get medical MJ prescribed for you at much less expense.
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Re: Sativex?

Postby Cannabis4MSinBC » Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:56 am

Well, your wife is one of the luck ones. Personally, I receive only rejections from doctors who can apparently be sued for even discussing such an illicit medication as the Health Canada approved drug Sativex, But I do agree, a bag of grass is far cheaper and far more effective than Sativex, though it's the principal of the matter that bothers me. If Sativex is intended specifically for MS, then why do so many MS patients, myself included, encounter such the impossibility in procuring it? If there is an approved, safe and effective medication available to treat the specific symptoms of a particular disease, shouldn't the patients living with that disease be given preferential access?

If you're interested, check out this thread . . .

http://www.thisisms.com/forum/sativex-f45/topic18900.html#p188042

There's quite the conversation upon Sativex there.
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Re: Sativex?

Postby HarryZ » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:18 am

Cannabis4MSinBC wrote:Well, your wife is one of the luck ones. Personally, I receive only rejections from doctors who can apparently be sued for even discussing such an illicit medication as the Health Canada approved drug Sativex


It's amazing at the level of ignorance that thrives with some doctors in this country!!! I was astounded to read the thread you provided and the reactions of those docs. Mind boggling.

Fortunately, I live in London, Ontario and there is a pain clinic here. We were able to see one of the neuros whose speciality was working with medical MJ. A number of years ago he offered to enroll my wife in one of the many MJ trials they have done there. He too told me of the huge level of ignorance that existed in Canada among the medical field when it came to MJ.

At the time he was comparing the side effects of medical MJ to pain/spasm relief drugs that were on the market and being used. He said that MJ was a drug just like any of the others but the stigma behind it was huge. This stigma often interfered with science and he used to get quite frustrated at the reaction of some docs when MJ was mentioned.

Like anything in medicine, you have to get in touch with the right people to get some things accomplished.

Harry
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Re: Sativex?

Postby Cannabis4MSinBC » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:56 pm

I agree, cannabis is a drug, just as is nicotine, aspirin, caffeine, alcohol, Sativex, morphine, codeine, not to mention all of the other chemicals we feed our bodies in the hopes of better health or addictive fix. It's the stigmatization of these drugs that bring about their elicit err. Oxycontin has been proven to be far worse a drug than pot, but it's socially acceptable because society has deemed it so. Marijuana is slowly becoming an acceptable drug, but it's still frowned upon due mostly in part to the delusional image of a hippie culture burnout smoking a joint whilst protesting the suit and tie establishment. I would have thought that most (educated) doctors wouldn't succumb so easily to projecting bias stereotypes upon their patients.

Or maybe BigPharma is working overtime convincing doctors that cannabis is not a medicine, this little colored pill is.

And you're right, it's all about getting in touch with the right people. As I've written, some docs are dead set against it, others are cautiously optimistic, yet all of them preferring to conjure ill conceived legal excuses.

But what about my legal issues, and more importantly, health issues. Doctors refuse to prescribe me Sativex because they could encounter ensuing legal difficulties. They refuse to endorse medical marijuana because of other unfounded legal issues. My health, well being, education, employment, everything at risk for sake of my untreated MS. I purchase medical cannabis from dispensaries in the Vancouver region, illegally possessing marijuana which could have me facing criminal charges.

Objectively however, doctors do not face legal issues, the CMPA (Canadian Medical Protective Association) protects them. There is a 'Waiver of Liability' form that accompanies the Health Canada MMAR (Medical Marijuana Access Regulations) form. Sativex holds prescription requirements equivalent to that of Tylenol 3 with Codeine, not requiring special prescribing privileges.

But it's not only the medications, there's the support system too. Doctors can't fill out the 'Verification of Permanent Disability Form for Student Aid BC', they could be sued. Can't fill out the Revenue Canada T-2201 Disability Tax Credit, could be sued. Can't provide referrals, they could be sued. Can't even provide a doctors note to indicate that I was at an appointment and missed a class at college or university, sued for that. Health Insurance forms, those will get them sued.

Honestly, I'm less than a dozen doctors away from giving up on this country, it's elected officials and social support services ignore the difficulties of MS patients, just like the doctors.
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Re: Sativex?

Postby HarryZ » Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:46 am

But what about my legal issues, and more importantly, health issues. Doctors refuse to prescribe me Sativex because they could encounter ensuing legal difficulties.


That, of course, is absolute garbage and is a lame excuse by the ignorant doctor. Sativex is Health Canada approved and can be prescribed like any other approved drug. There are no legal issues around prescribing it but hey, it's an easy "out" for the doc. And these people are supposed to be highly educated!
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Re: Sativex?

Postby Cannabis4MSinBC » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:30 am

That excuse, that doctors could face legal litigation for prescribing Sativex, it's an excuse handed down to them by the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Nothing more than a quick and convenient tactic to help these indifferent doctors out of difficult situations. And it's a huge list of canned excuses they have too, everything from being sued, loosing their medical license, government could punish them, they won't prescribe it to anyone because then they'd have to prescribe it to everyone.

But the best excuse I've heard yet, that Sativex requires special prescribing privileges because of its status as a restricted narcotic drug. I'll then produce for those doctors literature from Health Canada is a Schedule 2 narcotic, same scheduling and prescription criteria as Tylenol 3 with Codine. I'll then ask these doctors how they can practice medicine without being able to prescribe Tylenol 3, to which they'll try and suggest that my documentation is wrong. I then offer to call the College of Physicians, the College of Pharmacists, Health Canada, anyone who can clarify this issue of misinterpreted narcotics scheduling for this ill informed physician.

It's about then that the meeting comes to a rapid close, the doctor stating that they'd like to help me, but can't. I'll suggest that they provide me with a referral to a more qualified physician or specialist, to which they state they could be sued for doing, and the never ending cycle of health care practitioner complacency begins all over again.

Funny though, doctors can lie to me, refuse treatment, effectively endangering my health and well being, simply so they can avoid this illusionary lie of litigation and punishment. But when I mention to doctors that I'm going to circulate their name amongst a few hundred fellow MS patients, they can sue me for liable. Just imagine how stupid they must feel when I, the patient, corrects them by defining liable as written defamation of character, and that they meant imply slander, spoken defamation of character.

To which I beg the question, how can some sue me for telling the truth. Maybe, if I ever have kids, I'll tell to lie their way their way through life just to keep themselves from being sued for honesty.
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Re: Sativex?

Postby HarryZ » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:00 am

Mind boggling...absolutely mind boggling!!
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