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Provisional guidance restricts medicinal cannabis use

Friday November 2nd, 2018

Medicinal cannabis became legal for prescription in the UK yesterday – but clinicians have been given strict provisional guidelines on its use.

The guidelines state they can be used for chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting – but not as a first-line treatment.

They do not support the use of cannabis for chronic pain, citing an absence of “robust evidence.”

The guidelines have been produced by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Radiologists after liaison with the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

Meanwhile the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has begun work on full national guidance and is due to report in October next year.

A second set of guidelines for paediatric use has been issued by the British Paediatric Neurology Association.

This sets out three conditions for the use of the medicines for children with epilepsy.

These are that the disease should have proved intractable to treatment with conventional licensed drugs, that the ketogenic diet has been unsuccessful or inappropriate and that the patient should not be eligible for surgery.

According to national guidelines, cannabis based medicines should currently only be prescribed by doctors on the specialist register.

NHS England has said that only a “very small number of patients” will receive the medicines.

Tags: Alternative Therapy | Cancer | NHS | Pain Relief | UK News

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