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Synthetic marijuana drug coming to chemo patients
cnn ^ | 5/17/06

Posted on 05/17/2006 2:38:57 PM PDT by LouAvul

Seventeen years after it was withdrawn from U.S. markets, a synthetic version of the active ingredient in marijuana is going back on sale as a prescription treatment for the vomiting and nausea that often accompany chemotherapy, the drug's manufacturer said Tuesday.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International hopes to begin selling Cesamet in the next two to three weeks, company president Wes Wheeler said.

The Costa Mesa, California, company received Food and Drug Administration approval Monday to resume sales of the drug, which it bought from Eli Lilly and Co. in 2004. Valeant currently sells the drug, also called nabilone, in Canada.

Lilly originally received FDA approval for nabilone in 1985 but withdrew it from the market in 1989 for commercial reasons, Wheeler said. Valeant, since purchasing the drug, has revised its label and updated its manufacturing process, he added.

The drug will compete with Marinol, made by Belgium-based Solvay SA. Marinol, another synthetic version of tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana that's more commonly known as THC. It also received FDA approval in 1985.

Synthetic THC acts on the brain like the THC in smoked marijuana but eliminates having to inhale the otherwise harmful smoke contained in the illegal drug, Valeant said.

Cesamet is a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse. The 1-milligram tablets are meant to be taken twice daily before cancer patients undergo chemotherapy and up to 48 hours following treatment. Side effects include euphoria, drowsiness, vertigo and dry mouth.

(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: cesamet; drugskilledbelushi; health; marijuana; medicalmarijuana; medicine; mrleroybait; pharmaceuticals; valeant; warondrugs; wod; woddiecrushonleroy; wodlist
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I'm not in favor of recreational pot, but, goodness, cancer? They should give them whatever drug the patient desires.
1 posted on 05/17/2006 2:38:58 PM PDT by LouAvul
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To: LouAvul

Does taking synthetic pot give one the synthetic munchies?


2 posted on 05/17/2006 2:41:34 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (A Moose Once Bit my Sister. Yeah. She Turned Moose-lim.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I wonder how much more expensive it is compared to the real thing?


3 posted on 05/17/2006 2:46:05 PM PDT by DonaldC
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To: LouAvul
But the FDA just said marijuana has no medicinal value.

But synthetic marijuana does?

Pretzel logic.
4 posted on 05/17/2006 2:47:54 PM PDT by Supernatural (Its not dark yet, but its getting there.)
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To: LouAvul
They should give them whatever drug the patient desires.

Smoking pot to relieve your symptoms doesn't put money in the pockets of the pharma companies, so it will remain illegal.

5 posted on 05/17/2006 2:48:32 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat
Grandma always said the old herbal remedies were the best.
6 posted on 05/17/2006 2:50:48 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (A Moose Once Bit my Sister. Yeah. She Turned Moose-lim.)
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To: Supernatural
But the FDA just said marijuana has no medicinal value.

That's because the pharm companies can't make a killing in profit off it.

7 posted on 05/17/2006 2:52:09 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (The social contract is breaking down.)
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To: LouAvul

Pot has no medicinal value, unless the pharmaceutical companies are the ones who profit by it.


8 posted on 05/17/2006 2:52:14 PM PDT by Lexington Green (Tell 'em lies and feed 'em candy...)
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To: LouAvul

The problem with this is that many patients cannot ingest anything after chemotherapy and that is why the smoke it, so they can then overcome the nauseau and eat. Until they make an inhaler or something, they have not resolved the issue.


9 posted on 05/17/2006 3:00:44 PM PDT by microgood
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To: Responsibility2nd
Yes, but only for Styrofoam peanuts.
10 posted on 05/17/2006 3:02:27 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: LouAvul
Have been prescribing Marinol for some time

Usually for wasting syndromes, CTX nausea, other causes of anorexia

I've seen no unusual complications of this agent, properly used
It is a Schedule III

Cesamet is a Schedule II drug, I don't know why it is more heavily regulated
Than Marinol, which should be functionally identical...

Cesamet Mongraph
11 posted on 05/17/2006 3:07:31 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: Responsibility2nd

No but your cravings for junk food are worse.


12 posted on 05/17/2006 3:08:15 PM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: microgood
When I was going through chemo about half of my patient support group were using pot with the MDs' knowledge.
13 posted on 05/17/2006 3:09:07 PM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: Lady Jag; Know your rights; Wolfie; MRMEAN; winston2; tpaine

Ping!


14 posted on 05/17/2006 3:12:21 PM PDT by Supernatural (Its not dark yet, but its getting there.)
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To: ncountylee
When I was going through chemo about half of my patient support group were using pot with the MDs' knowledge.

Execution is too good for such druggie scum. </sarcasm>

15 posted on 05/17/2006 3:38:31 PM PDT by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: Supernatural; All
But the FDA just said marijuana has no medicinal value.

But synthetic marijuana does?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yeah - what he said!

It always makes me feel better to just smell some stavia. Do the pills have more of a stavia smell or Indica? /pun

16 posted on 05/17/2006 4:01:33 PM PDT by winston2 (In matters of necessity let there be unity, in matters of doubt liberty, and in all things charity:)
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To: LouAvul

"Side effects include euphoria, drowsiness, vertigo and dry mouth."

Feeling stupid-happy instead of feeling like shooting oneself or curling up & dieing is a side affect... okay whatever...

Kudos to those who can seperate the "wheat from the chaff"

If it doesn't put a $ in a pocket in that fancy house in DC, it must be evil... yep darn right.. evil stuff...


17 posted on 05/17/2006 4:31:32 PM PDT by MD_Willington_1976
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To: HangnJudge
My dear cousin is currently on Avastin and he is wasting away, no appetite. I fear he is going to die because he doesn't eat.

If smoking a joint gave him the munchies, it would be a god send..

sw

18 posted on 05/17/2006 4:37:30 PM PDT by spectre (Spectre's wife) ("The Devils in the Details")..(Sen David Vitter)
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To: MD_Willington_1976
Yeah but they have no qualms about prescribing me 270 percocets for a 3 months mail order analgesic supply....
19 posted on 05/17/2006 4:41:44 PM PDT by halfright (9/11 3,000 Americans MURDERED...MINE the borders! N O W !!! Semper Fi !!)
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To: spectre
Avastin, an anti-angiogenesis agent...

Avastin

Sure can beat up on someones appetite
a Cannabinoid may well help him with this complication
20 posted on 05/17/2006 8:27:37 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: LouAvul

Why not just give cancer victims the real thing and save them a whole lot of money? Because that would make sense.


21 posted on 05/17/2006 8:40:36 PM PDT by mysterio
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To: PaxMacian; WindMinstrel; philman_36; headsonpikes; cryptical; vikzilla; Crotalus72901; Quick1; ...

Pretzel Logic Ping (I have never met Napolean, But I'd like to find the time...)


22 posted on 05/18/2006 3:51:16 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie

A man should no more expect logic and honesty from government than he should expect water to gush from a stone.


23 posted on 05/18/2006 4:28:48 AM PDT by headsonpikes (Genocide is the highest sacrament of socialism.)
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To: LouAvul
Lilly originally received FDA approval for nabilone in 1985 ...
I've learned something today.
24 posted on 05/18/2006 5:08:02 AM PDT by philman_36
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To: LouAvul
The Medical Value of Marijuana and Related Substances
Several cannabinoids have been tested as antiemetics, including THC (both 9-THC and 8-THC) and the synthetic cannabinoids nabilone and levonantradol. Smoked marijuana has also been examined.
Snip...As in the THC trials, nabilone and levonantradol reduced emesis but not as well as other available agents in moderately to highly emetogenic settings. Neither is commercially available in the United States.
Snip...Neither study showed a clear advantage for smoked marijuana over oral THC, but neither reported data on the time course of antiemetic control, possible advantages of self-titration with the smoked marijuana, or the degree to which patients were able to swallow the pills. Patients with severe vomiting would have been unlikely to be able to swallow or keep the pills down long enough for them to take effect. The onset of drug effect is much faster with inhaled or injected THC than it is for oral delivery.87,112,141
Although many marijuana users have claimed that smoked marijuana is a more effective antiemetic than oral THC, no controlled studies have yet been published that analyze this in sufficient detail to estimate the extent to which this is the case.

An important and unexpected problem encountered in the New York state open trial with marijuana was the inability of nearly one-fourth of the patients to tolerate the administration of marijuana by smoking.188 The intolerance could have been due to inexperience with smoking marijuana and is an important consideration.

And to be "fair"...Although marijuana smoke delivers THC and other cannabinoids to the body, it also delivers harmful substances, including most of those found in tobacco smoke. In addition, plants contain a variable mixture of biologically active compounds and cannot be expected to provide a precisely defined drug effect. For those reasons there is little future in smoked marijuana as a medically approved medication.
Guess what! Coffee delivers harmful substances to the body. So does alcohol. So does a myriad number of other things.
They don't even know if those other active compounds cancel out or counter the effects of the "harmful substances" inhaled. They're sooooo sure.

25 posted on 05/18/2006 5:31:23 AM PDT by philman_36
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To: Responsibility2nd
Grandma always said the old herbal remedies were the best.

She's right. We use a lot of them in our family -- except for pot, of course. I wouldn't touch it even if it were legal, although I can't say what my stance would be if I had cancer.

26 posted on 05/18/2006 5:35:43 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Supernatural; robertpaulsen
But the FDA just said marijuana has no medicinal value. But synthetic marijuana does? Pretzel logic.

I'd be interested in your take on this Robert.

27 posted on 05/18/2006 10:16:14 AM PDT by jmc813 (The best mathematical equation I have ever seen: 1 cross + 3 nails= 4 given.)
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To: LouAvul

"I'm not in favor of recreational pot, but, goodness, cancer? They should give them whatever drug the patient desires."

If the drug companies market it, it's OK.


28 posted on 05/18/2006 10:30:30 AM PDT by dljordan
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To: mysterio
A friend of mine who underwent chemo for Hodgkins' said that the (then $5.00/pill, 4 pills per day) were not as effective as an appetite enhancer and were much more expensive than the herbal 'medication'.

That was in the 1980's and he could get several day's 'medication' to self-administer for the price of a single day worth of pills.

29 posted on 05/18/2006 10:42:48 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: Smokin' Joe
Hodgekins? That's awful. Did he come out of it ok?

Who even knows how expensive the medicine is now. You could probably self medicate for two weeks on what it costs to buy "legitimate" medicine for a day.

I understand some zealots not wanting people to use pot. But I have not ever understood the ones that are such extreme zealots that they want to prevent sick people from using it.
30 posted on 05/18/2006 10:53:13 AM PDT by mysterio
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To: Supernatural

exactly what I was thinking, if MJ has no value, why promote the synthetic use of it...Jeez, I wish they could decide.....


31 posted on 05/18/2006 11:06:49 AM PDT by vin-one (REMEMBER the WTC !!!!!!!!)
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To: vin-one

The rules are whatever they say they are and they make them up as they go along. Subject to change without notice.

Give toxic substances like morphine to sick people but not a harmless herb? Might make sense to an idiot but it doesn't make sense to me.

Synthetic, yet!


32 posted on 05/18/2006 11:09:21 AM PDT by Supernatural (Its not dark yet, but its getting there.)
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To: Wolfie; headsonpikes
Jeez there you two go again talking logic,

WEED is bad mkay,,,,,it will make you want to rape white women....or is that black musicians........stay cool.
33 posted on 05/18/2006 11:11:05 AM PDT by vin-one (REMEMBER the WTC !!!!!!!!)
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To: Supernatural
"Pretzel logic."

Coming from a government agency, are you really surprised?
34 posted on 05/18/2006 11:12:40 AM PDT by LIConFem (A fronte praecipitium, a tergo lupi.)
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To: LIConFem

I am only surprised when the government gets something right. They rarely surprise me.


35 posted on 05/18/2006 11:14:10 AM PDT by Supernatural (Its not dark yet, but its getting there.)
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To: jmc813; Supernatural
"But the FDA just said marijuana has no medicinal value. But synthetic marijuana does? Pretzel logic."

Marijuana has no medicinal use. Cannabinoids do. Isolate the cannabinoids, and the FDA will approve it.

36 posted on 05/18/2006 11:23:50 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Centurion2000

http://www.slate.com/id/2140503/


37 posted on 05/18/2006 11:24:03 AM PDT by sono ("Why can't we deport them? Mexico did." J Leno)
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To: robertpaulsen; jmc813

Duh!

If marijuana contains cannabinoids and cannabinoids have medicinal use, then marijuana has medicinal use.

Two plus two equals four, RP.

It is what it is, not what you want it to be.

Another lame argument from you.


38 posted on 05/18/2006 11:27:30 AM PDT by Supernatural (Its not dark yet, but its getting there.)
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To: robertpaulsen; Wolfie; vin-one
Isolate the Cannabinoids!

Sounds like an aitch of a slogan for the JBTs and their enablers!

39 posted on 05/18/2006 11:56:32 AM PDT by headsonpikes (Genocide is the highest sacrament of socialism.)
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To: mysterio
Yes, he recovered fully and has been cancer free for nearly 20 years.

He had a theory that other ingredients worked in concert with the THC to increase the efficacy of the natural substance versus the synthetic, and made a good point about being able to self-dose at levels which worked for him as opposed to working with the more rigid framework of the tablet dosage.

I have no idea of current prices of either, myself, but I would bet they have kept pace with inflation...

The bottom line, though, is that you can patent a pill, but not the plant.

40 posted on 05/18/2006 11:59:16 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: Smokin' Joe

Glad to hear your friend got better.


41 posted on 05/18/2006 12:07:07 PM PDT by mysterio
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To: robertpaulsen
Cannabinoids have medical value. Marijuana contains canibinoids. Marijuana has no medical value.

Nice logic RP. Try this one, I'm trying to supliment my calcium intake

Broccoli has calcium. My casserole contains Broccoli. My casserole has no calcium.

42 posted on 05/18/2006 1:30:06 PM PDT by bird4four4 (Behead those who suggest Islam is violent!)
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To: Supernatural; bird4four4
"then marijuana has medicinal use"

Like foxglove, its use is in the extract, not in the consumption of the plant.

43 posted on 05/18/2006 3:11:01 PM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen

The extract is part of the plant.

Therefor, the plant will work as well as the extract.

You never give up and you are never right.

Just can't admit you are wrong, can you?


44 posted on 05/18/2006 3:51:46 PM PDT by Supernatural (Its not dark yet, but its getting there.)
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To: Supernatural
"Therefor, the plant will work as well as the extract."

Foxglove is poisonous.

45 posted on 05/18/2006 8:08:45 PM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Centurion2000

Profit should be made illegal.


46 posted on 05/18/2006 8:23:38 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: DonaldC
"I wonder how much more expensive it is compared to the real thing?"

Probably 100x more expensive, with a fancy 'brand name'. Anyone with a terminal illness or chronic pain with half a brain left would simply grow the stuff.

47 posted on 05/18/2006 8:27:10 PM PDT by KoRn
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To: spectre
"If smoking a joint gave him the munchies, it would be a god send.."

If it's really that dire of a situation, I think you should be proactive.

If I say more, I'll get flammed by the usual suspects, calling me a libertarian wacko pot head...and I don't even smoke the stuff lol.

48 posted on 05/18/2006 8:30:35 PM PDT by KoRn
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To: traviskicks

Funny. If the pharmaceutical companies can make money on it, there's no problem with it?


49 posted on 05/18/2006 8:32:49 PM PDT by KoRn
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To: LouAvul

Interesting that the FDA is giving approval to this drug, when it (or some other federal agency) just a few weeks ago issued a report that said marijuana has absolutely no therapeutic benefits.

The duplicity is astounding. Sure, I'm biased because I am opposed to the War on Drugs, nevertheless if there is nothing therapeutic in marijuana this drug would never have approval.


50 posted on 05/18/2006 8:33:58 PM PDT by monkeyshine
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