Medical cannabis patients in a New York study reduced their use of opioids and spent less money on their prescription medications, according to researchers at GPI Clinical Research and the University of Buffalo School of Pharmacy. The study, titled “Preliminary evaluation of the efficacy, safety, and costs associated with the treatment of chronic pain with medical cannabis”, was published in this month’s issue of The Mental Health Clinician.
Researchers found that study participants’ monthly analgesic prescription costs declined 32 percent following medical cannabis program enrollment. The reduction was primarily observed in number of fentanyl patches and amount of opioid use.
“After [three] months treatment, [medical cannabis] improved quality of life, reduced pain and opioid use, and lead to cost savings.” – Preliminary evaluation of the efficacy, safety, and costs associated with the treatment of chronic pain with medical cannabis, May 2018, The Mental Health Clinician
The study was small – just 29 patients. Sixty-five percent of the participants were female. Twenty of the patients had spinal tissue damage, three had neuropathies, three had cancer, two had irritable bowel disease, and one has Parkinson’s disease. After three months, 10 percent of the subjects reported dry mouth as the only adverse effect associated with cannabis use.
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