Clinical efficacy and effectiveness of Sativex, a combined cannabinoid medicine, in multiple sclerosis-related spasticity

Expert Rev Neurother. 2012 Apr;12(4 Suppl):3-8. doi: 10.1586/ern.12.11.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with a wide range of disease symptoms and amongst these, spasticity is one of the most disabling and has the greatest impact on patient well-being and quality of life. Until now, available drug therapies for spasticity appear to have limited benefit and are often associated with poor tolerability. In a recent Spanish survey it was noted that multidrug therapy and a low control rate were common features for a large proportion of patients with MS-related spasticity, suggesting that currently available monotherapies lack significant activity. Sativex is a 1:1 mixture of δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol derived from Cannabis sativa chemovars, which is available as an oromucosal spray. Clinical experience with Sativex in patients with MS-related spasticity is steadily accumulating. Results from randomized, controlled trials have reported a reduction in the severity of symptoms associated with spasticity, leading to a better ability to perform daily activities and an improved perception of patients and their carers regarding functional status. These are highly encouraging findings that provide some much needed optimism for the treatment of this disabling and often painful symptom of MS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cannabidiol
  • Cannabinoids / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic* / standards
  • Dronabinol
  • Drug Combinations
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Muscle Spasticity / drug therapy*
  • Muscle Spasticity / etiology*
  • Muscle Spasticity / psychology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Quality of Life
  • Spain


  • Cannabinoids
  • Drug Combinations
  • Plant Extracts
  • Cannabidiol
  • Dronabinol
  • nabiximols