Study: CBD Reduces Seizures That Are Resistant to Common Medications

A new study has found that CBD reduces seizures in patients with Dravet syndrome (SD), Lennox-Gataut syndrome (LGS), or tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), who are resistant to common medications.

Published by the journal Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira and epublished by the National Library of Medicine, the study was conducted by researchers at Medicina Baseada em Evidências and Faculdade de Medicina, both in Brasil.

According to its abstract, the objective of this “systematic review with meta-analysis was to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and short- and long-term tolerability of cannabidiol (CBD), as an adjunct treatment, in children and adults with Dravet syndrome (SD), Lennox-Gataut syndrome (LGS), or tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), with inadequate control of seizures.”

This systematic review was conducted through a search for scientific evidence in the Mediline/PubMed, Central Cochrane, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases through April 2022.

Researchers selected randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that presented the outcomes: reduction in the frequency of seizures and total seizures (all types), number of patients with a response greater than or equal to 50%, change in caregiver global impression of change (CGIC), adverse events (AEs), and tolerability to treatment.” In addition, this review followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses.

Notably, six RCTs were included, with a total of 1,034 patients with SD, LGS, and TSC, of which 3 were open-label extension RCTs.

“The meta-analysis of the studies showed that the use of CBD as compared with placebo, in patients with convulsive seizures refractory to the use of medications, reduces the frequency of seizures by 33%; increases the number of patients with a reduction ≥50% in the frequency of seizures by 20%; increases the number of patients with absence of seizures by 3%; improves the clinical impression evaluated by the caregiver or patient (S/CGIC) in 21%; increases total AEs by 12%; increases serious AE by 16%; increases the risk of treatment abandonment by 12%; and increases the number of patients with transaminase elevation (≥3 times the referral) by 15%”. states the study.

Researchers conclude by stating: “This systematic review, with meta-analysis, supports the use of CBD in the treatment of patients with seizures, originated in DS, LGS, and TSC, who are resistant to the common medications, presenting satisfactory benefits in reducing seizures and tolerable toxicity.”

The full abstract of the study can be found below.

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this systematic review with meta-analysis was to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and short- and long-term tolerability of cannabidiol (CBD), as an adjunct treatment, in children and adults with Dravet syndrome (SD), Lennox-Gataut syndrome (LGS), or tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), with inadequate control of seizures.

Methods: This systematic review was conducted through a search for scientific evidence in the Mediline/PubMed, Central Cochrane, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases until April 2022. Selected randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that presented the outcomes: reduction in the frequency of seizures and total seizures (all types), number of patients with a response greater than or equal to 50%, change in caregiver global impression of change (CGIC) (improvement ≥1 category on the initial scale), adverse events (AEs), and tolerability to treatment. This review followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses.

Results: Notably, six RCTs were included, with a total of 1,034 patients with SD, LGS, and TSC, of which 3 were open-label extension RCTs. The meta-analysis of the studies showed that the use of CBD as compared with placebo, in patients with convulsive seizures refractory to the use of medications, reduces the frequency of seizures by 33%; increases the number of patients with a reduction ≥50% in the frequency of seizures by 20%; increases the number of patients with absence of seizures by 3%; improves the clinical impression evaluated by the caregiver or patient (S/CGIC) in 21%; increases total AEs by 12%; increases serious AE by 16%; increases the risk of treatment abandonment by 12%; and increases the number of patients with transaminase elevation (≥3 times the referral) by 15%.

Conclusions: This systematic review, with meta-analysis, supports the use of CBD in the treatment of patients with seizures, originated in DS, LGS, and TSC, who are resistant to the common medications, presenting satisfactory benefits in reducing seizures and tolerable toxicity.