Managing your treatment

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Managing your treatment

Receiving your prescribed plant based medicine after completing the application process can feel like the end of your journey. However, this is not the case, and it is essential to continually monitor your experience with the medication throughout your treatment.

Patients have different responses to each product depending on a range of factors, and occasionally, the results are not ideal. It is important to monitor your experience and consult with your doctor if you are experiencing problems with your prescription, as there are several things that can be done to rectify any issues you might be having.

Common problems

Efficacy

Occasionally, it may appear that your pain management product is not working or is failing to provide the relief you were hoping for. This may be due to an incorrect dose, or an incompatible product. Speak to your doctor about your concerns, as there are many factors that come into play. You can also:

1. Try a different titration (usage)
Titration is essentially the strength and composition of a product. A different formula may prove more effective.

2. Change the dose
It is common practice to begin on the lowest dose deemed effective, and sometimes cost concerns can lead to further lowering of the dose taken. However, this will reduce the efficacy of the product, and an increase in dosage may be needed. Speak to your doctor about slowly increasing your dose to reach an effective level.

3. Try a different product
Whole plant medication contains a variety of compounds. These compounds vary from one plant to another and can have different effects on different people. It is possible to have a different product whilst keeping the compound levels constant. It may be that you would find greater effectiveness from a different plant based formulation. Speak to your doctor about trying a different product to find the one most suitable for you.

Side effects

Cannabinoid based products sometimes have side effects, most of which are manageable and/or temporary. Side effects can vary between patients and may depend on the dose taken, the titration (usage), other compounds in the medication and the mode of administration.

Some of the most common side effects include:

  • dry mouth
  • redness of the eyes
  • heightened appetite
  • reduction of alertness
  • increased heart rate
  • lowering of blood pressure
  • some dizziness.
Thankfully, there are ways to help reduce the likelihood or severity of these unwanted side effects.
  • Start with a low dose and monitor for adverse side effects. You can then speak to your doctor about adjusting your medication to balance optimum efficacy with limited side effects.
  • Speak to your doctor about trying an alternative product or mode of administration if the side effects prove to be unacceptable.
  • Side effects generally disappear with time and so it could be that simply waiting for them to pass is sufficient.

However, contact your doctor immediately if you develop a rash, hives, swelling or have trouble breathing as these may be the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Similarly, if you experience seizures or convulsions, call 000.

It is essential that you continually monitor your experience with plant based therapies throughout your treatment.

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Cost

The Australian Government does not subsidise the cost of plant based medication like medicinal cannabis products through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). As a result, plant based pain management treatments can be costly, both in terms of medical appointments and products.

Companies such as Cannatrek are working with legislators to improve the affordability of plant based therapy products. While this work is underway, Cannatrek has various initiatives that help reduce the cost of pain management treatments for patients, such as concessional pricing for eligible patients and efficacy trials. For more information on approximate pricing of using plant based therapies, please see our costs page.

Cannatrek Access

Cannatrek is here to support you in finding an alternative plant based treatment that suits you. Our online telehealth booking platform, Cannatrek Access, makes booking an appointment with a doctor experienced in prescribing plant based medicine easy.

If you’re interested in booking a telehealth consult, visit Cannatrek Access here.