Cannabidiol Effective for Reducing Seizures in Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy

In a related study, Michael Oldham, MD, MPH, of the University of Louisville, and colleagues reported on the long-term efficacy of Epidiolex in a small patient population enrolled in the Expanded Access program at the University of California San Francisco. The program enrolled 25 patients (52% female) aged 1 to 17 years between January 2014 and December 2014. Twenty-eight percent of patients had Dravet syndrome, and epilepsy with myoclonic absences (EMA), CDKL5, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome accounted for 16% each. Therapy period and treatment amounts followed the same protocols as in Devinsky O et al. Median percent reduction in seizure frequency was assessed at 3 and 12 months, with treatment response considered ≥50% seizure reduction.

At 3-month follow-up, 8 patients (32%) had responded to CBD; 3 were seizure-free and 5 had a ≥50% seizure reduction. At 12-month follow-up, 10 patients (40%) had a ≥50% seizure reduction; 1 patient remained seizure-free. Twelve patients discontinued CBD due to lack of efficacy, and 1 patient due to increase in seizure frequency related to CBD.

Overall, CBD therapy was associated with a greater than 50% reduction in seizure frequency in more than one-third of patients at 3-months. This was maintained by 40% of patients for the 12-month duration, suggesting that “CBD can be effective in controlling seizures,” Dr. Oldham said in a statement.

For more coverage of AES 2015, go here


  1. Devinsky O, Thiele E, Laux L, et al. Abstract 3.397. Efficacy and Safety of Epidiolex (Cannabidiol) in Children and Young Adults with Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy: Update from the Expanded Access Program. Presented at: American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting; Dec. 4-8, 2015; Philadelphia.
  2. Oldham M, Sullivan J, Singhal N, Tilton N, Cilio M. Abstract 2.296. Long-term efficacy and tolerability of add-on cannabidiol for drug-resistant pediatric epilepsies. Presented at: American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting; Dec. 4-8, 2015; Philadelphia.