Summary of evidence-based guideline: Complementary and alternative medicine in multiple sclerosis: Report of the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology

Vijayshree Yadav, Christopher Bever, James Bowen, Allen Bowling, Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, Michelle Cameron, Dennis Bourdette, Gary S. Gronseth, Pushpa Narayanaswami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To develop evidence-based recommendations for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: We searched the literature (1970-March 2011; March 20112September 2013 MEDLINE search), classified articles, and linked recommendations to evidence. Results and recommendations: Clinicians might offer oral cannabis extract for spasticity symptoms and pain (excluding central neuropathic pain) (Level A). Clinicians might offer tetrahydrocannabinol for spasticity symptoms and pain (excluding central neuropathic pain) (Level B). Clinicians should counsel patients that these agents are probably ineffective for objective spasticity (short-term)/tremor (Level B) and possibly effective for spasticity and pain (longterm) (Level C). Clinicians might offer Sativex oromucosal cannabinoid spray (nabiximols) for spasticity symptoms, pain, and urinary frequency (Level B). Clinicians should counsel patients that these agents are probably ineffective for objective spasticity/urinary incontinence (Level B). Clinicians might choose not to offer these agents for tremor (Level C). Clinicians might counsel patients that magnetic therapy is probably effective for fatigue and probably ineffective for depression (Level B); fish oil is probably ineffective for relapses, disability, fatigue, MRI lesions, and quality of life (QOL) (Level B); ginkgo biloba is ineffective for cognition (Level A) and possibly effective for fatigue (Level C); reflexology is possibly effective for paresthesia (Level C); Cari Loder regimen is possibly ineffective for disability, symptoms, depression, and fatigue (Level C); and bee sting therapy is possibly ineffective for relapses, disability, fatigue, lesion burden/volume, and health-related QOL (Level C). Cannabinoids may cause adverse effects. Clinicians should exercise caution regarding standardized vs nonstandardized cannabis extracts and overall CAM quality control/nonregulation. Safety/efficacy of other CAM/CAM interaction with MS disease-modifying therapies is unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1083-1092
Number of pages10
JournalNeurology
Volume82
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 25 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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