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Nabilone for the Treatment of Phantom Limb Pain

This study has been completed.
Valeant Canada Limited
Information provided by:
University of Manitoba Identifier:
First received: June 17, 2008
Last updated: April 28, 2011
Last verified: April 2011

The purpose of this proposed study is to conduct a randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial assessing the benefit of nabilone in pain management and improvement of quality of life in patients with phantom limb pain.

Our Hypothesis is that the synthetic cannabinoid Nabilone will significantly reduce the phantom limb pain and improve quality of life, compared to the placebo controlled group. This will be evident by finding significant differences in Visual Analogue Scale pain scores, frequency of phantom pain episodes, the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, and the Groningen Sleep Quality Scale and daily prosthetic wearing time.

Condition Intervention Phase
Phantom Limb Pain Neuropathic Pain Drug: Nabilone Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomized Double-blind Placebo Controlled Trial Assessing the Effect of the Oral Cannabinoid Nabilone on Pain and Quality of Life in Patients With Phantom Limb Pain

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Manitoba:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Visual Analogue Scale for Pain [ Time Frame: Baseline, 2, 4 and 6 weeks ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale [ Time Frame: Baseline, 2, 4 and 6 weeks ]
  • Groningen Sleep Quality Scale [ Time Frame: Baseline, 2, 4 and 6 weeks ]
  • SF-36 [ Time Frame: Baseline, 2, 4 and 6 weeks ]
  • Frequency of phantom limb pain [ Time Frame: Baseline, 2, 4 and 6 weeks ]
  • Daily prosthetic wearing time [ Time Frame: Baseline, 2, 4 and 6 weeks ]

Estimated Enrollment: 50
Study Start Date: January 2009
Study Completion Date: April 2011
Primary Completion Date: February 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Intervention Details:
    Drug: Nabilone
    Nabilone 0.5 mg at hs for 1 week, then 0.5 mg BID for 1 week. After a reassessment of the outcome measures, the dose is increased to 0.5 mg in the morning and 1 mg at hs for 1 week, followed by an increase to 1 mg BID in the last week of the study.
    Other Name: Cesemet

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • The patient has been diagnosed with phantom limb pain by a Rehabilitation Medicine Specialist.
  • 18-70 years old.
  • Any gender.
  • The patient has not had resolution of their phantom limb pain with other treatments, such as a tricyclic antidepressant, or anticonvulsant medication.
  • No previous use of oral cannabinoids for pain management.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • The patient's pain is better explained by a treatable cause of stump pain, such as neuroma or bony overgrowth.
  • Gross abnormalities on routine baseline blood work including electrolytes, urea and creatinine, a complete blood count, and liver function tests (AST ALT GGT, Alk Phos, and LDH) that are twice the limit of normal. Normal tests taken within 3 months prior to the study will be accepted if there is no history of acute illness since the time the blood was drawn.
  • Heart disease. (Cannabinoids can reduce heart rate and blood pressure) Patients with heart disease will be excluded based on a history of symptomatic angina, MI or CHF as well as a clinical exam.
  • Schizophrenia or other Psychotic disorder
  • Severe liver dysfunction.
  • History of untreated non-psychotic emotional disorders.
  • Cognitive impairment.
  • Major illness in another body area.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Nursing mothers.
  • History of drug dependency.
  • A known sensitivity to marijuana or other cannabinoid agents
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00699634

Canada, Manitoba
Rehabilitation Hospital
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3A 1M4
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Manitoba
Valeant Canada Limited
Principal Investigator: Ryan Q Skrabek, MD, FRCPC University of Manitoba
  More Information

Responsible Party: Dr. Ryan Quinlan Skrabek, University of Manitoba Identifier: NCT00699634     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1975
REB: B2007:129
Impact: RI07:119
Health Canada: 116697
Study First Received: June 17, 2008
Last Updated: April 28, 2011

Keywords provided by University of Manitoba:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Phantom Limb
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
Neuromuscular Diseases
Signs and Symptoms
Perceptual Disorders
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Pain, Postoperative
Postoperative Complications
Pathologic Processes
Autonomic Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Gastrointestinal Agents
Anti-Anxiety Agents
Tranquilizing Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Psychotropic Drugs
Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
Sensory System Agents
Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists
Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators processed this record on September 21, 2017