Thursday, 9 August 2007

Canada says OK to cannabis spray for cancer pain

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Health Canada has approved a medicated spray made from the ingredients of the cannabis plant. The medication, called Sativex, provides patients with advanced cancer a new option for pain management.

Sativex was approved in 2005 for use by patients with multiple sclerosis and has not caused any adverse side effects. Most pain-killing drugs, like Opioids, can't make this claim. They are still very good at what they do, though so for cancer pain, it's likely they will be used in conjunction with Sativex but at lower doses.

For those who may view drugs like Sativex as illicit substances -- because they are derived from cannabis -- one palliative medicine physician says the original substance has been modified and in its medicinal form is an appropriate and legitimate treatment.

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