MICHAEL P. CAREY, B.S.; THOMAS G. BURISH, Ph.D.; DEAN E. BRENNER, M.D.
A critical review of the literature assessing the antiemetic efficacy of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy showed considerable inconsistency in results. The equivocal nature of these results partly reflects the difficulty of doing research on antiemetic therapies, but also can be attributed to differences in the adequacy and nature of the research designs, procedures, and assessment instruments that have been used. Several factors were also identified that are seldom studied but may be important in determining whether THC will be effective: patient variables, such as chemotherapy regimen and age; pharmacologic variables, such as drug tolerance, dose, schedule, toxicity, route of administration, and drug interactions; and environmental variables associated with administration setting. The need to differentiate pharmacologically induced from conditioned nausea and vomiting was also pointed out. We believe that THC does have antiemetic efficacy, but the lack of controlled research does not allow precise knowledge of its true effectiveness and toxicity. Well-controlled trials are needed to help answer some of these questions.
CAREY MP, BURISH TG, BRENNER DE. Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in Cancer Chemotherapy: Research Problems and Issues. Ann Intern Med. ;99:106–114. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-99-1-106
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1983;99(1):106-114.
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