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Neuropharmacology. 2005 Jun;48(8):1164-71.

Pain measurements and side effect profile of the novel cannabinoid ajulemic acid.

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1
Department of Anesthesiology, Pain Clinic, Hannover Medical School, D-30623 Hannover, Germany.

Abstract

Preclinical findings on ajulemic acid (AJA) showed analgesic and anti-allodynic effects without psychoactive properties making it an appealing substance for the treatment of pain. A recently published randomized double-blind crossover clinical trial described the pain-reducing effects and side effect profile of AJA on 21 patients with chronic neuropathic pain. In this report from this same sample the effects of AJA on the mechanical hypersensitivity, on pain, and on psychological and physical performance were further characterized. During a 5-week study period, patients were divided into two 7-day treatment groups receiving either AJA or placebo capsules first, respectively. All patients received 40 and 80 mg of AJA or placebo daily in each treatment period. Pain measurements included the determination of mechanical hypersensitivity using the von Frey hair method as well as the visual analog scale (VAS), for which the number needed to treat (NNT) was calculated. The side effect profile of the compound was evaluated using psychotropic and physical measurements as well as obtaining reports on possible subjective side effects. The results showed no significant reduction in mechanical hypersensitivity (p=0.052), although a tendency towards pain reduction could be seen. The VAS score showed significant pain reduction (p=0.021) and NNT values for 30% pain relief were 2.14 for the first treatment group and 5.29 for the second treatment group. No significant findings were observed regarding psychotropic or physical measurements. Reported subjective side effects were mainly dry mouth, tiredness and dizziness and did not increase with dose elevation. Overall, these study findings indicate that AJA shows pain-reducing effects on patients with chronic neuropathic pain without clinically relevant psychotropic or physical side effects.

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