Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Neuropathic pain: the case for medical marijuana

I'm in favour of it

I have a friend who would benefit from medical marijuana. Michele was able to access it in B.C.,
swollen legs, chronic neuropathic pain
but not here when she moved into a LTC. She has spinal stenosis and is in pain 24/7.
Clients on disability are unable to pay for Cesamet (also called Nabilone) THC pills.

I've had several clients, on ODSP, facing horrible neuropathic pain. The hydromorphone they are prescribed does not work on this kind of pain. This is what we were told at the Pain Clinic. Most GPs do not seem to know this information. They cannot afford Cesamet, the THC pill. THC is the chemical in weed that works.

The anesthesiologist said that hydromorphone is not in the Canadian standard recommendations for Neuropathic pain. The destruction of the nerves in legs is similar to cancer pain. Hydromorphone in the body prevents the uptake of pain messages.  However, eventually, the Hydromorphone goes around the back door of the cell, and adds receptors, which tell the patient s/he is in pain. This is pain tolerance, in many patients.

There are physicians who are against prescribing weed: they don't know how much to prescribe, and seem to want to be able to control the dosage, with a 3 x's a day type of plan. Really, it is the kind of drug that users can determine when and how much. For those with chronic pain, we know how much they suffer. Morphine use causes many symptoms and can induce tolerance. OPP and local police are now trained in identifying those who toke and drive, which would be a concern for many citizens. Physicians must step up.

medical marijuana

Neuropathic Pain
From the Canadian Neuropathy Association:
Some common causes of neuropathic pain include: 

Alcoholism * Amputation * Back, leg, and hip problems * Cancer chemotherapy * Diabetes Facial nerve problems * HIV infection or AIDS * Multiple sclerosis * Shingles * Spine surgery 
Neuropathic pain is a complex, chronic pain state that usually is accompanied by tissue injury. With neuropathic pain, the nerve fibers themselves might be damaged, dysfunctional, or injured. These damaged nerve fibers send incorrect signals to other pain centers. The impact of a nerve fiber injury includes a change in nerve function both at the site of injury and areas around the injury.

Owners of a medical marijuana grow-op, now well-established in a former chocolate factory in Smiths Falls, Ont., hope to spur on further economic development in the small town.

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