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Medical cannabis can reduce opioid use in patients with chronic back pain and osteoarthritis, but more study is needed

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ChicagoAnd the March 22 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Providing patients with chronic back pain and osteoarthritis (OA) access to medical cannabis could reduce or even eliminate the use of opioids for pain management, according to two studies presented at the 2022 annual meeting of… American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS). Led by the principal investigator Asif M. DespairStudies have also shown that pain and quality of life scores improved after patients adopted medical cannabis.

Fifty million Americans suffer from chronic pain unrelated to cancer.me which are often treated with opioids. However, alternative treatments are needed. In 2019, an estimated 10.1 million people aged 12 or older abused opioids in 2019,Secondly And addiction to opioids is still at an all-time high. Medical cannabis use has been researched as an alternative treatment to opioids, but more studies are needed to review efficacy, dosages, and how it may affect the use of opioids for pain management.

“In the context of the current opioid crisis, we must identify alternatives that may alleviate dependence on opioids for pain control,” said Dr. at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. “At this point, we’re not advocating the routine use of medical cannabis or saying it’s a better option, but our studies show potential.”

The use of medical cannabis in the treatment of chronic back pain and OA patients

Both studies reviewed packaged opioid prescription data for patients with chronic back pain and OA who were certified for access to medical cannabis among February 2018 And the July 2019. Mean morphine milligram equivalents (MME) from prescription opioids six months before receiving medical cannabis was compared with the six months after patients arrived.

Data for chronic non-cancerous musculoskeletal back pain showed:

  • Significant decrease in the overall average daily medical cannabis after medical cannabis prescription, from 15.1 to 11.0 (n=186).
  • 38.7% of patients had zero MME per day.
  • Patients who started with less than 15 MME per day and greater than 15 MME per day had a significant decrease, from 3.5 to 2.1 (n = 134) and from 44.9 to 33.9 (n = 52). The percentages of patients who decreased to zero MME per day in these groups were 48.5% and 13.5%, respectively.
  • Compared to baseline (three, six, and nine months), patients reported improvements in intensity, frequency, and daily function after using medical cannabis.
  • Patients who used two or more methods of administering medicinal cannabis showed a significant reduction in their MME per day, from 13.2 to 9.5 (n = 76).

For OA treatment, patient outcome measures were evaluated at three, six, and nine months after medical cannabis use. After obtaining medical cannabis, the study explained:

  • There was a significant decrease in the mean MME per day for prescriptions filled by patients, from 18.2 to 9.8 (n = 40). The average daily decrease in MME was 46.3%.
  • The percentage of patients who fell to zero MME on day was 37.5%.
  • The patients’ pain scores decreased significantly, from 6.6 (n = 36) to 5.0 (n = 26) and 5.4 (n = 16), at three and six months, respectively.
  • The global physical health quality of life score increased significantly, from 37.5 to 41.4, at three months.

“Our studies show that medical cannabis can be an effective treatment for chronic back pain and osteoarthritis, which may help reduce opioid dependence,” said Dr. Elias. “However, more research is needed to better understand the methods, frequencies, potential adverse events, and long-term consequences of medical cannabis use. In the meantime, prescribers should use joint decision-making with their patients when considering the use of medicinal cannabis in the case of the musculoskeletal system.” Chronic. Pain terms.”

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