Participants in the study used the inhaler up to several times a day, depending on need, and were followed for up to a year.
The study findings, published in the journal Pain Reports, show that pain levels fell from an average of 7.3 (on a zero to 10 pain scale) to 5.5 after 120 days – a reduction of nearly 23 percent. For patients in severe pain, pain levels dropped over 28 percent.
Most participants also reported significant improvement in their quality of life, with 92% saying their lives were “better” or “much better.”
Of the 43 patients who were using opioid pain medication at the start of the study, 58% reported using lower doses after initiating treatment with the inhaler.
Adverse events, such as dizziness and headache, were minor and usually lasted only a few minutes. About 17% of patients reported no decrease in pain intensity and 7% reported more pain.