Fibromyalgia Patients Find Cannabis the Most Effective Treatment, According to Survey
A 2014 survey conducted by the National Pain Foundation in the United States revealed that cannabis was the most effective treatment for patients with Fibromyalgia.
With an estimated 14 million people in Europe and 5 million people in the USA suffering from Fibromyalgia, research into alternative and/or additional treatment is necessary.
WebMD classifies Fibromyalgia as “a chronic condition that characteristically causes pain all over the body, including muscle and joint pain, and fatigue as well as other symptoms. Fibromyalgia can lead to depression and social isolation“.
The symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia are vast and potentially dangerous. With no universally accepted cure, symptom management is currently the only treatment available.
The online survey was completed by over 1,300 patients. The respondents were asked to rate the effectiveness of cannabis as a treatment for their symptoms, as well as the effectiveness of the three FDA approved drugs that are prescribed to Fibromyalgia patients – Cymbalta, Lyrica and Savella.
Only 8% of respondents said Cymbalta was ‘Very effective’ in treating their symptoms, whilst 60% of respondents said that the drug ‘Does not help at all’. Cymbalta is used primarily to help general anxiety and major depressive disorders.
Lyrica, a painkilling and anti-convulsant drug, had slightly more positive results, with 10% claiming it is ‘Very effective’. However, 61% claimed that Lyrica ‘Does not help at all’.
Savella, a controversial drug used to modulate neurotransmitters, received damning results, with 10% claiming its effectiveness and 68% claiming, once again, that it ‘Does not help at all’.
However, an incredible 95% of survey respondents admitted that cannabis is “Very effective” or “Slightly effective” in treating their symptoms. The results below display these results, which are overwhelmingly in favour of cannabis as treatment.
This survey is a vital piece of research into the relationship between cannabis and Fibromyalgia, in part because of the lack of other studies available. Only one other official research study has ever been conducted on the subject. That study, conducted by the American College of Rheumatology deduced that cannabis offered some therapeutic benefit but also questioned its negative effect on psychosocial parameters.
Perhaps the most telling result to come from the National Pain Foundation survey were the 43% of respondents who felt that their physician was not knowledgeable about the disorder and the 35% of respondents who felt that their physician did not take their Fibromyalgia seriously. Results like this highlight the need for further research into the disorder and how to manage its treatment, whether that be with cannabis or through other effective treatment.
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