Australian docs advised not to prescribe medical cannabis for chronic pain

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Australia’s leading pain advisory body has a recommendation for doctors in the country: Don’t use medicinal cannabis to treat chronic pain. According to the Sydney Morning Herald , despite the approval of the 100,000th cannabinoid script in the country, the Faculty of Pain Medicine at the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) is advising doctors to hold tight. “Do not prescribe currently available medicinal cannabis products to treat chronic non-cancer pain unless part of a registered clinical trial,” notes the recommendation posted on Choosing Wisely, a health educational campaign. Why medical cannabis packaging poses accessibility challenges and how we can fix it Women with known prenatal weed use had THC in breast milk for up to six weeks Chronic migraine patients who use cannabis to ease symptoms could end up with ‘rebound’ headaches: study Emphasizing there is “a critical lack of evidence that it provides a consistent benefit for any type of chronic non-cancer pain,” ANZCA points out the lion’s share of special access scheme approvals (more than 90 per cent) “have been for chronic pain of various types.” Beyond the lack of evidence regarding effectiveness, though, is the evidence that potential harms exist, “particularly in relation to sedative effects, interactions with other medications and neuropsychiatric effects” for products containing THC, the recommendation states. What’s really needed, the group argues, is “evidence from gold-standard studies that prove cannabinoid products effectively treat these patients’ suffering,” the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Professor Michael Vagg, dean of ANZCA’s pain medicine faculty, wrote this week in The Conversation, that both the International Association for the Study of Pain and ANZCA “recommended against medicinal cannabis for people suffering persistent non-cancer pain.” While some may regard the recommendations as controversial, Vagg noted some misconceptions persist around marijuana’s effectiveness when it comes to chronic pain.…

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Source : Australian docs advised not to prescribe medical cannabis for chronic pain

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