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J Cannabis Ther 2002(3/4):159-173

Multiple Sclerosis

Cannabis in Multiple Sclerosis: Women’s Health Concerns

Author
DJ. Petro

Abstract
Women's health has received greater attention with the recognition of significant differences in disease expression and drug action in men and women. Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disorder with important gender differences. MS patients have employed cannabis to treat a number of symptoms associated with the disease including spasticity, pain, tremor, fatigue, and autonomic dysfunction. The scientific literature includes supportive case reports, single-patient (N-of-1) trials and randomized clinical trials. Large-scale clinical trials are underway to answer questions concerning the efficacy and safety of cannabis in patients with MS. While these studies will answer important questions concerning the actions of cannabinoids on the nervous system, additional studies in female MS patients will be needed to address issues such as gender-specific actions on symptoms such as pain and autonomic dysfunction along with studies in menopausal and post-menopausal women. Since the drug-drug interactions have been reported with cannabinoids, the effects of cannabis on the actions of other centrally-acting drugs should be explored.

Keywords
Women's health has received greater attention with the recognition of significant differences in disease expression and drug action in men and women. Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disorder with important gender differences. MS patients have employed cannabis to treat a number of symptoms associated with the disease including spasticity, pain, tremor, fatigue, and autonomic dysfunction. The scientific literature includes supportive case reports, single-patient (N-of-1) trials and randomized clinical trials. Large-scale clinical trials are underway to answer questions concerning the efficacy and safety of cannabis in patients with MS. While these studies will answer important questions concerning the actions of cannabinoids on the nervous system, additional studies in female MS patients will be needed to address issues such as gender-specific actions on symptoms such as pain and autonomic dysfunction along with studies in menopausal and post-menopausal women. Since the drug-drug interactions have been reported with cannabinoids, the effects of cannabis on the actions of other centrally-acting drugs should be explored.

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