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Cannabis use in patients with multiple sclerosis

Chong, MS; Wolff, K; Wise, K; Tanton, C; Winstock, A; Silber, E; (2006) Cannabis use in patients with multiple sclerosis. MULT SCLER , 12 (5) 646 - 651. 10.1177/135248506070947.

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Abstract

Introduction Little is known about the extent and patterns of cannabis use in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).Methods MS patients attending neurology outpatient clinics at two hospitals in London and one in Kent, UK completed a questionnaire.Results Questionnaires were completed by 254/337 (75%) MS patients. Forty-three per cent had used cannabis at some stage (ever users). Of these, 68% (75/110) had used cannabis to alleviate symptoms of MS (MS-related cannabis use). Forty-six (18%) had used cannabis in the last month (current users), of whom 12% (31/254) had used it for symptom relief. Being married or having a long-term partner, tobacco smokers and increasing disability were independent risk factors for MS-related cannabis use. Compared to patients who could walk unaided, cannabis use was more likely in those who were chair-bound (adjusted OR 2.47; 1.10-5.56) or only able to walk with an aid (adjusted OR 1.56; 0.90-3.60). Pain and spasms were common reasons for cannabis use. Seventy-one per cent of individuals who had never used cannabis said they would try the drug if it were available on prescription.Conclusion A large proportion of MS patients had tried cannabis for symptom control, however current use was small. A subgroup with greater disability appears to derive some symptomatic benefit.

Type: Article
Title: Cannabis use in patients with multiple sclerosis
DOI: 10.1177/135248506070947
Keywords: addiction, cannabis, multiple sclerosis, pain, spasticity, CONTROLLED-TRIAL, MEDICAL USE, PAIN, ALCOHOL
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/125996
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