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Medical Marijuana for Pain after Hysterectomy

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Medical Marijuana for Pain after HysterectomyCan I use medical marijuana to manage pain after hysterectomy?

Although no cannabinoids are currently FDA-approved as pain relievers, there is ongoing research on their efficacy. There may be some doctors who recommend it after a hysterectomy in states where it is legal, but most doctors will still prescribe FDA-approved painkillers.

One study of about 65 patients in the UK* has shown that a cannabis plant extract, Cannador, effectively relieves pain after major surgery. Another recent study on use of nabilone in patients with fibromyalgia also found a significant reduction in pain compared with placebo. In fact, other studies show that cannabinoids from marijuana appear to be similar to codeine for treatment of pain. Extreme sleepiness and other central nervous system effects, however, make cannabinoids undesirable.

Medical marijuana has primarily been used to treat pain, muscle spasms, and nausea and vomiting that results from chemotherapy treatment. There are currently only two cannabinoids available by prescription in the United States, and they are both synthetic: dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet). Both are FDA-approved for the management of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have not responded to conventional antiemetic treatments. While some users find it effective, others find it increases their symptoms. Side effects can include memory and other cognitive issues, headaches, dizziness, hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia, flashbacks, depression, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, lung problems, numbness, dry mouth, and sexual issues. It can also compromise the immune system, which could create healing issues after a hysterectomy. Some studies indicate that nabilone, in particular, can increase post-operative pain. Also, smoking marijuana is not usually as effective for pain.

While marijuana has been a successful treatment method in some cases, concerns about abuse and long-term cognitive effects continue to pose serious and significant barriers fully accepting the plant for medicinal use. Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is addictive, and it can have permanent, adverse effects on the brain and other body functions.
Key Rules for Safe Use

  • Do not share medical marijuana with your friends or family.

  • Do not try anyone else’s marijuana to see if it will work for you.

  • Do not allow others to posses your medical marijuana unless they are registered caretakers or growers.

  • Do not take your medical marijuana across state lines.

  • Medical marijuana should not be used without recommendation from a knowledgeable doctor. If your doctor does recommend it for pain after your hysterectomy, be sure to follow his instructions exactly. Also, be sure you know the laws surrounding medical marijuana. Even though it is legal in some states, the US Department of Justice still declares marijuana an illegal drug under the Controlled Substances Act (August 2013). The federal government generally lets the states enforce their own narcotics laws, but if anything goes awry, the federal government can and will step in and prosecute for violating or lacking strict regulations. The feds have raided and closed several dispensaries, prosecuting the owners for selling to buyers without legitimate recommendations, selling marijuana laced with another drug, or even for selling marijuana to minors. If your doctor recommends medicinal marijuana, protect yourself from legal trouble by buying from a licensed dispenser/grower and following all of your doctor’s instructions. Even so, be aware that the use of marijuana is illegal under federal law.

    * Study by Imperial College, London and the Medical Research Council, UK

    This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

    05-05-2014 - 08:19 PM


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