Stephen Krieger, MD: Cannabinoids as a New Treatment for MS Spasticity


The associate professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai addresses the need for new treatments for MS spasticity.

“We have pills and other things that can help with spasticity to some degree, but they often have a lot of systemic side effects. It can be very sedating. Having a different modality of treatment to approach MS spasticity will open up a new avenue to treat it—and there's been a lot of interest in cannabinoids.”

GW Pharmaceuticals has initiated a phase 3 clinical trial studying nabiximols for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS)-associated spasticity. Nabiximols is an oral spray consisting of both cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol marketed as Sativex outside of the US where it is approved for use in over 25 countries. 

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Stephen Krieger, MD, associate professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where he also serves as director, neurology residency training program, discusses the lack of treatments for MS symptom management and the potential and growing popularity of cannabinoids to fill that gap. 

Krieger, who serves as an investigator for the phase 3 trial, also comments on the lack of recent studies and data on drugs to treat MS spasticity and hopes to see nabiximols provide statistically significant and clinically meaningful data. The trial will assess for a decrease in spasm events in patients with MS in the US, in accordance with beneficial results seen in international studies. 

GW Pharmaceuticals initiates pivotal phase 3 study of nabiximols for multiple sclerosis-associated spasticity. News release. GW Pharmaceuticals. November 3, 2020. Accessed November 16, 2020.

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