Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2022 Feb;26(4):1224-1234. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202202_28114.
OBJECTIVE: Chronic pain is one of the most common medical conditions in developed countries. The 2020 Italian National Report on Medicines shows how, in the last years, there was a light but constant increase in the prescription of pain medications. The purpose of our study was to assess the effects of long-term cannabis-based oil consumption on the distribution of patients with analgesics prescriptions for chronic pain in a Pain Medicine Unit in Northern Italy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This is a retrospective, observational study in which patients treated with long-term medical cannabis-based oils, followed between June 2016 and July 2019, were enrolled. The effects of cannabis-based oil consumption on the distribution of patients with pain medications, before and after its long-term use, were evaluated with a Related Samples McNemar Test. Subgroups analyses were performed based on sex, age, comorbidity, duration of cannabis treatment, and condition driving cannabis prescription.
RESULTS: A significant difference in opioid non-users after a long-term cannabis-based oil therapy was identified (from 32.1% to 55.4%, p = 0.0023), while no significant differences were found in the distribution of anticonvulsant, antidepressant, and benzodiazepine users. A high benzodiazepine use prevalence was revealed, while subgroup analyses showed increased antidepressant use in people over 65 years old (from 93.7% to 56.2%; p = 0.0313).
CONCLUSIONS: Pain medication patterns of prescribing show how necessary it is to improve prescription practices among chronic pain patients. Opioid-sparing medications represent a crucial aspect of the pain treatment process, along with deprescribing protocols. Clinicians and clinical pharmacologists must cooperate to meet the need of a guide that can represent the most possible appropriate therapy for these patients.
Source: ncbi 2