Add-on Cannabidiol Generally Safe for Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy, Dravet, Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes

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Cannabidiol add-on therapy is generally safe for Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes.
Cannabidiol add-on therapy is generally safe for Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes.
The following article is part of live conference coverage from the 2017 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Neurology Advisor's staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from AES 2017.

WASHINGTON, DC – Add-on cannabidiol (CBD) is well tolerated and generally safe for children and adults presenting with treatment-resistant epilepsies (TREs), as well as Dravet syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), according to recent study findings presented at the 2017 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting December 1-5, 2017 in Washington, DC.

At a 4-week baseline period, seizure diaries were used by patients' parents and caregivers to record seizure types. A 100 mg/mL plant-derived CBD formulation in a sesame oil solution was gradually administered to patients. Doses of the CBD formulation started at 2 to 10 mg/kg/d to either tolerance or 25 to 50 mg/kg/d (median dose: 21 mg/kg/d [interquartile range (IQR): 15-25] at 12 wk; 25 mg/kg/d [IQR: 21-25] at 96 wk).

A total of 147 of the 580 participants with efficacy data had diagnoses of DS/LGS. At baseline, the median monthly seizure frequency was 38 and 62 for convulsive and total seizures, respectively. Causality serious adverse events included convulsion (16%), pneumonia (5%), pyrexia (5%), and status epilepticus (10%).

No deaths occurred in the treatment group. Adverse reactions common throughout the group receiving CBD included decreased appetite, diarrhea, fatigue, lethargy, nasopharyngitis, pneumonia, pyrexia, rash, and somnolence.

The researchers concluded that “study supports previous observational and randomized controlled trial data showing add-on CBD may be an efficacious long-term treatment option for LGS and DS in children and adults.”

Disclosures: The investigators reported financial support from GW Research Ltd.

For more coverage of AES 2017, click here.

Reference

Laux LC, Bebin ME, Chez M, et al. Long-term effectiveness and safety of cannabidiol in children and adults with treatment-resistant Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. Presented at: 2017 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting. December 1-5, 2017; Washington, DC. Abstract 1.434.

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