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Pain Research and Management
Volume 8, Issue 4, Pages 221-224
Case Report

Treatment of Chronic Intractable Neuropathetic Pain with Dronabinol: Case Report of Two Adolescents

Zvia Rudich,1 Jennifer Stinson,1 Michael Jeavons,2 and Stephen C Brown1

1Department of Anaesthesia, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2Department of Psychiatry, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of dronabinol for the treatment of neuropathic pain refractory to previous treatment.

METHODS: We studied the response (reduction of pain intensity and functional improvement) to dronabinol (5 mg/day to 25 mg/day) in two adolescents with neuropathic pain and depression refractory to previous treatments over two and five years, respectively.

RESULTS: Reduction in pain intensity (45%) was achieved in patient 2 and was unchanged in patient 1. Functional improvement was markedly increased in terms of academic performance, mood and sleep in both patients over four to five months, without major adverse effects. While these improvements dissipated over time, the patients were more reconnected with rehabilitation and focused less on the intrusiveness of their pain problem in their every day lives.

CONCLUSIONS: Dronabinol appeared to be effective in improving pain affect and psychosocial functioning in the treatment of refractory neuropathic pain and may be considered as an adjuvant medication in the rehabilitation process. Well-controlled placebo studies are required for further evaluation.