The marijuana compound cannabidiol (CBD) used without any other epilepsy medications appears to be safe and effective “for up to 12 months in clinical practice” when used by those with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome.
This retrospective chart review study evaluated plant-derived highly purified cannabidiol use without other medications as add-on therapy in patients aged ≥2 years with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (DS) who were enrolled in a European Early Access Program.
Of 114 enrolled patients, data were available for 107 (92 LGS, 15 DS) who received CBD without clobazam (an epilepsy medication) for at least three months. The mean age was 14.5 for those with LGS and 10.5 for those with DS. Mean time-averaged CBD dose was 13.54 (LGS) and 11.56 (DS) mg/kg/day.
Researchers found “Median change from baseline in seizure frequency per 28 days over 3-month intervals varied from −6.2% to −20.9% for LGS and 0% to −16.7% for DS. Achievement of ≥50% reduction in drop (LGS) or convulsive (DS) seizures at 3 and 12 months: LGS, 19% (n=69) and 30% (n=53); DS, 21% (n=14) and 13% (n=8).”
In other words, a large majority saw at least some reduction in seizures, and a considerable portion saw a reduction of at least 50%.
Retention of CBD use among participants was “94%, 80%, 69%, and 63% at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months.”
Adverse event (AE) incidence was 31%, most commonly somnolence, seizure, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. Just two patients discontinued CBD owing to AEs.
Researchers conclude: “Results support favourable effectiveness and retention of CBD without concomitant clobazam for up to 12 months in clinical practice.”