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Mult Scler. 2012 Feb;18(2):219-28. doi: 10.1177/1352458511419700. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

A placebo-controlled, parallel-group, randomized withdrawal study of subjects with symptoms of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis who are receiving long-term Sativex® (nabiximols).

Author information

  • 1James Paget University Hospital, Pain Management Department, Gorleston on Sea, UK. william.notcutt@jpaget.nhs.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Open-label studies are not ideal for providing robust evidence for long-term maintenance of efficacy of medicines, especially where medicines provide symptom relief and where long-term use of a placebo may be problematic and not ethical.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the maintenance of efficacy of Sativex in subjects who have gained long-term symptomatic relief of spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS), and to assess the impact of sudden medicine withdrawal.

METHODS:

An enriched enrolment randomized withdrawal study design was used. Eligible subjects with ongoing benefit from Sativex for at least 12 weeks entered this 5-week placebo-controlled, parallel-group, randomized withdrawal study. Each subjects' previous effective and tolerated dose was continued.

RESULTS:

A total of 18 subjects per group were enrolled. Demographics showed a mean duration of MS of 16.4 years, spasticity 12.7 years, mean duration of Sativex use of 3.6 years (median 3.4 years) and a mean daily dose of 8.25 sprays. Primary outcome of time to treatment failure was significantly in favour of Sativex (p = 0.013). Secondary endpoints showed significant changes in the Carer and Subject's Global Impression of Change scales in favour of Sativex.

CONCLUSIONS:

Maintenance of Sativex efficacy in long-term symptomatic improvement of spasticity to a group of subjects with MS has been confirmed using this study design.

PMID:
21878454
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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