ALCOHOL
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– VICTORIA

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AOD STATS
Interactive
Data Site

Introduction: Welcome to AODstats, the Victorian alcohol and drug interactive statistics and mapping webpage.
AODstats provides information on the harms related to alcohol, illicit and pharmaceutical drug use in Victoria.

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Summary

  • Research is expanding for the use of cannabidiol as an anticonvulsant drug. The mechanism of cannabidiol in paediatric epilepsy is unclear but is thought to play a role in modulation of synaptic transmission.
  • Evidence for its efficacy in treating epilepsy is limited but growing, with a single pharmaceutical company-funded randomised double-blind controlled trial in children with Dravet syndrome.
  • Progress towards the use of medicinal cannabinoids incorporates a complex interplay of social influences and political and legal reform.
  • Access to unregistered but available cannabidiol in Australia outside of clinical trials and compassionate access schemesis state dependent and will require Therapeutic Goods Administration approval, although the cost may be prohibitive.
  • Further clinical trials are needed to clearly define efficacy and  safety, particularly long term. (taken from MJA 208 (3) j 19 February 2018)


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Roger Ladouceur – Canadian Family Physician February 2018

“The evidence indicates the most consistent effects of medical cannabinoids are adverse events. A variety of adverse events have a greater magnitude of effect than the potential benefits for the conditions targeted.1

The conclusions drawn by this analysis are not surprising. Study after study, analysis after analysis, and review after review2,3 have all reported the same findings: cannabis has little place within current therapeutic arsenals, except as a last resort in very specific situations or when nothing else has worked…”

The Canadian Family Physician

For complete article                                                                                                                                                   

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  • New medical guidelines have been issued in Canada, where cannabis is legal
  • They warn the effects of the drug outweigh minor benefits for most conditions 
  • And for some, it states it most often is only marginally better than a placebo 
  • The new document will be distributed to 30,000 doctors in Canada

New medical guidelines issued in Canada, where cannabis has been legal for medicinal use since 2001, warns that the effects of the drug outweigh any minor benefits for the vast majority of conditions.

And in the few conditions where it can be helpful - for example as pain relief for multiple sclerosis - the impact is only marginally better than placebo.

The document, published in the Canadian Family Physician journal, warns doctors to 'take a sober second thought' before prescribing the drug.

By Ben Spencer Medical Correspondent For The Daily Mail PUBLISHED: 07:00 AEDT, 16 February 2018

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By Ariana Eunjung Cha January 24 

A new class of epilepsy medications based on an ingredient derived from marijuana could be available as soon as the second half of 2018 in the United States, pending Food and Drug Administration approval.

Officials from GW Pharmaceuticals, the company that developed the drug, on Wednesday announced promising results from a study on 171 patients randomized into treatment and placebo groups. Members of the group, ages 2 to 55, have a condition called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and were suffering from seizures that were not being controlled by existing drugs. On average they had tried and discontinued six anti-seizure treatments and were experiencing 74 “drop” seizures per month. Drop seizures involve the entire body, trunk or head and often result in a fall or other type of injury.

The results, published in the Lancet, show that over a 14-week treatment period, 44 percent of patients taking the drug, called Epidiolex, saw a significant reduction in seizures, compared with 22 percent of the placebo group. Moreover, more of the patients who got the drug experienced a 50 percent or greater reduction in drop seizures.

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Abstract

Cryptococcal meningitis is a life-threatening condition most commonly observed in immunocompromised individuals. We describe a daily cannabis smoker without evidence of immunodeficiency presenting with confirmed Cryptococcus neoformans meningitis. An investigation of cannabis samples from the patient's preferred dispensary demonstrated contamination with several varieties of Cryptococcus, including C. neoformans, and other opportunistic fungi. These findings raise concern regarding the safety of dispensary-grade cannabis, even in immunocompetent users.

KEYWORDS:

disease and health outcomes; drugs misuse (including addiction); exposures; healthcare improvement and patient safety; infectious diseases  

DOI:10.1136/bcr-2017-221435

BMJ Case Rep. 2018 Jan 26;2018. pii: bcr-2017-221435. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2017-221435.

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