I saw a 76 year old gentleman in the Pain Clinic, who had multiple pain problems including polyarthropathy and multiple joint pains.
In the past, he had tried a number of different medications and treatments including, Arthrotec, Diclofenac, Rofecoxib, Co-dydramol, Buprenorphine tablets and patches, Celecoxib, acupuncture and a lumbar epidural. Unfortunately, none of the medications had given him very much pain relief and had mostly given him adverse effects.
This gentleman was very keen to try Sativex which is purified form of Cannabinoid. Unfortunately, the drug was an unlicensed medication when he came to see me. We were able to obtain some directly from the manufacturers which the patient paid for themselves.
After 3 weeks on the Sativex, which was taken as a sub-mucosal spray, he was able to get reasonable pain relief by using it, up to 5 times a day. In his own words, he found the medication to be very beneficial in terms of reducing pain with minimal adverse effects.
The adverse effects included a change in taste and a dry mouth, although he felt that he could accept these. Generally speaking, he got pain relief within about 30 minutes of taking the spray. Overall, he felt better in himself as he felt he was able to manage the pain for himself.
The plan with this gentleman is to try and obtain the relevant authorisation to continue with this treatment.