Medical Marijuana Helps Fibromyalgia Patients
June 18, 2019
Breaking Israel News – Fibromyalgia is a such a misunderstood disease that not only is there no cure, but doctors had thought psychological rather than physical problems were solely behind the condition in patients.
So far, drugs have shown only partial efficacy to relieve symptoms.
But thanks to a new and significant study, by Prof. Victor Novack, M.D., of the BGU-Soroka Clinical Cannabis Research Institute and his team, relief may be on the way for fibromyalgia victims. They have found that medical cannabis – which is legal in Israel– is an effective and safe treatment for it.
The study, which was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, was conducted by Prof. Novack in collaboration with Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider, of the BGU-Soroka Clinical Cannabis Research Institute, Dr. Yiftah Sagi, and Prof. Mahmoud Abu Shakra, a rheumatology expert at BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences.
This is reportedly the largest group of fibromyalgia patients in the world to be treated with medical cannabis.
“Fibromyalgia is a pain disorder with severe consequences for a large number of patients,” says Dr. Novack. “But patients have continued to suffer from chronic pain, depression and somatic symptoms. Now we believe medical cannabis is an additional treatment that may benefit these patients effectively and with relatively few side effects in prolonged treatment. I hope that further studies will corroborate our findings in the future.”
The study found that after six months of cannabis therapy, 81.8% reported a significant improvement in control of their symptoms. Fibromyalgia symptom characteristics such as sleep disturbances, depression and weakness showed significant improvement after half a year of treatment. In addition, an improvement was achieved in patients’ quality of life and daily functioning.