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Terminal cancer patient. Detected marijuana in system. Suggested marinol as alternative but denied for prescription

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General & Family Physician
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I am a terminal cancer patient. My doctors have detected marijuana in my system and informed me that since it is illegal I must discontinue. Marinol has been suggested as an alternative, yet they are hesitant to write me a prescription. I have not smoked in 7 days, however my next visit is in 2 weeks and I probably won't test clean. I have been on morphine for 1 year, and am worried they will deny me this drug because of the test results. Can that happen? Also,will they be able to tell there is less marijuana in my system, or is it all or nothing? I ask because it will be time to renew my prescription for morphine, and I am making the effort, but time is not on my side.
Thank You,XXXXX
Posted Fri, 5 Jul 2013 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 1 hour later
Hi and thanks for the query,

I am afraid with tests available today, there are extremely very high chances that they shall detect the drug when you shall be tested. The probability is extremely high.

Its true that this drug has been suggested as an alternative, but before putting drugs into general use, specific procedures are undertaken, studies with scientific backing to ensure the benefits actually outweigh the side effects before being accepted into the pharmaceutical market.

Depending in policies of different centres, it is possible they deny you the prescription. However, some centres, based on the detected titres, will consider renewing the drug. What is sure is that it would be unethical to leave a patient in pain as such. Alternative therapies shall certainly be proposed to you with adequate advice and other options to help improve quality of life.

I suggest you stop smoking as you already did, its still possible they get to renew your drugs. Other drugs and circumstances could also test positive for Marijuana. Be calm, no smoking for now till you see your physician for drug renewal. Explicit disclosure of your concerns to him could help him in being more elaborate in proposing better pain management options for you.

Hope I did help, if you need further information, please, feel very free, I would be honored contributing to your well being as much as I can. Be well and best regards.

Bain LE, MD.
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