Clinical Studies and Case Reports

On this site you will find clinical studies with cannabis or single cannabinoids in different diseases and case reports on the use of cannabis by patients.
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TitleEvaluation of oral cannabinoid-containing medications for the management of interferon and ribavirin-induced anorexia, nausea and weight loss in patients treated for chronic hepatitis C virus.
Author(s)Costiniuk CT, Mills E, Cooper CL
Journal, Volume, IssueCan J Gastroenterol. 2008 Apr;22(4):376-80.
Major outcome(s)Improvement of appetite and reduction of nausea and vomiting by nabilone and dronabinol (THC)
IndicationNausea/vomiting;Appetite loss/weight lossAbstract
MedicationDelta-9-THC;Nabilone

OBJECTIVES: The systemic and cognitive side effects of hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapy may be incapacitating, necessitating dose reductions or abandonment of therapy. Oral cannabinoid-containing medications (OCs) ameliorate chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, as well as AIDS wasting syndrome. The efficacy of OCs in managing HCV treatment-related side effects is unknown. METHODS: All patients who initiated interferon-ribavirin therapy at The Ottawa Hospital Viral Hepatitis Clinic (Ottawa, Ontario) between August 2003 and January 2007 were identified using a computerized clinical database. The baseline characteristics of OC recipients were compared with those of nonrecipients. The treatment-related side effect response to OC was assessed by c2 analysis. The key therapeutic outcomes related to weight, interferon dose reduction and treatment outcomes were assessed by Student's t test and c2 analysis. RESULTS: Twenty-five of 191 patients (13%) initiated OC use. Recipients had similar characteristics to nonrecipients, aside from prior marijuana smoking history (24% versus 10%, respectively; P=0.04). The median time to OC initiation was seven weeks. The most common indications for initiation of OC were anorexia (72%) and nausea (32%). Sixty-four per cent of all patients who received OC experienced subjective improvement in symptoms. The median weight loss before OC initiation was 4.5 kg. A trend toward greater median weight loss was noted at week 4 in patients eventually initiating OC use (-1.4 kg), compared with those who did not (-1.0 kg). Weight loss stabilized one month after OC initiation (median 0.5 kg additional loss). Interferon dose reductions were rare and did not differ by OC use (8% of OC recipients versus 5% of nonrecipients). The proportions of patients completing a full course of HCV therapy and achieving a sustained virological response were greater in OC recipients. CONCLUSIONS: The present retrospective cohort analysis found that OC use is often effective in managing HCV treatment-related symptoms that contribute to weight loss, and may stabilize weight decline once initiated.

Route(s)Oral
Dose(s)
Duration (days)
ParticipantsPatients with hepatitis C undergoing interferon-ribavirin th
DesignOpen study
Type of publicationMedical journal
Address of author(s)University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
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