August 20, 2003
Synthetic Cannabinoid Patch in Development
In related news, University of Kentucky researcher Audra Stinchcomb is currently working on developing a prescription patch that would deliver synthetic cannabinoids through the skin to help ease nausea and stimulate appetite in AIDS and cancer patients, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. Stinchcomb three years ago received a $361,000 grant from the American Cancer Society to help fund development of the patch, and she has since applied for a patent for the patch technology. A cannabis-based prescription capsule -- known as Marinol or dronabinol -- was approved by the FDA in 1985 to treat nausea, vomiting and severe appetite loss from AIDS or chemotherapy and has been available in the United States for more than 15 years. However, David Ringer, scientific program director for ACS, said that the patch might be preferable for patients whose nausea is so severe that they "can't keep the capsules down." The patch is currently undergoing initial study. Human trials are set to follow, and the patch could be available in five years (Isaacs, Lexington Herald-Leader, 8/20).
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