Opioid and Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetic Interactions: A Pilot Study
Chronic pain conditions remain problematic, especially in patients with cancer. Although
opioids are effective analgesics, dose-limiting side effects in the form of sedation, nausea
and vomiting, and fear of dependence often limit their use at higher - and possibly more
effective - doses. Of particular interest, however, is the potential for greater than
additive analgesic effect of cannabinoids and opioids in combination that would allow for
opioid analgesic effect to be achieved at lower dosages than are necessary alone, which
could overcome problems with both tolerance and side effects for both drug classes.
Unfortunately, safety data on the combination in humans does not exist at this time and
needs to be obtained. As increasing numbers of patients with cancer may turn to cannabis to
augment the effects of their opioid analgesics, data on potential pharmacokinetic
interactions and clinical safety of the combinations should be evaluated in a controlled
clinical research setting.
Allocation: Non-Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Pharmacokinetics Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment
To determine the effects of smoking cannabis on the disposition kinetics of morphine
Pharmacokinetics are measured on Day 1, prior to cannabis use, and again on Day 5, following cannabis use on Days 2, 3, and 4.
Day 1, Day 5
Donald I Abrams, M.D.
University of California, San Francisco
United States: Food and Drug Administration
CC # 064
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