PubMed: Long-term use of cannabidiol-enriched medical cannabis in a prospective cohort of children with drug-resistant developmental and epileptic encephalopathy
Seizure. 2022 Jan 4;95:56-63. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2022.01.001. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: We report our findings regarding effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of cannabidiol (CBD)-enriched medical cannabis as add-on therapy in children with drug-resistant epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs) after a median follow-up of 20 months.
METHODS: A prospective cohort study was conducted to assess effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of CBD-enriched medical cannabis oil added to standard antiseizure medications in children with drug-resistant DEE seen at a single center.
RESULTS: Between October 2018 and March 2020, 59 patients were enrolled. Mean age at enrollment was 10.5 years (range, 2-17 years). Median treatment duration was 20 months (range, 12-32). Median age at first seizure was 8 months (range, 1 day – 10 years). At the end of follow-up, 78% of the children had a ≥ 50% decrease in seizure frequency and 47.5% had a > 75% decrease. Seven patients (11.9%) were seizure free. The number of seizures was reduced from a median of 305/month to 90/month, amounting to a mean reduction of 57% and a median reduction of 71% (p < 0.0001). Adverse effects were mostly mild or moderate. CBD was discontinued in 17 patients (28.8%) due to lack of response to treatment, increased seizure frequency, intolerance to the drug, or poor compliance.
CONCLUSION: In children with drug-resistant DEEs, long-term treatment of CBD-enriched medical cannabis as an adjuvant therapy to antiseizure therapy was found to be safe, well tolerated, and effective. Sustained reductions in seizure frequency and improvement of aspects of daily living were observed compared to our preliminary findings.
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