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Efficacy of CBD-enriched medical cannabis for treatment of refractory epilepsy in children and adolescents – An observational, longitudinal study

      Abstract

      The objective of this observational study was to evaluate the efficacy of medical cannabis for the treatment of refractory epilepsy. Fifty-seven patients (age 1–20 years) with epilepsy of various etiologies were treated with Cannabis oil extract (CBD/THC ratio of 20:1) for at least 3 months (Median follow up time-18 months). Forty-Six Patients were included in the efficacy analysis. Average CBD dose was11.4 mg/kg/d. Twenty-six patients (56%) had ≤50% reduction in mean monthly seizure frequency. There was no statistically significant difference in response rate among various epilepsy etiologies, and cannabis strain used. Younger age at treatment onset (<10 years) and higher CBD dose (>11 mg/kg/d) were associated with better response to treatment. Adverse reactions were reported in 46% of patients and were the main reason for treatment cessation.
      Our results suggest that adding CBD-enriched cannabis extract to the treatment regimen of patients with refractory epilepsy may result in a significant reduction in seizure frequency according to parental reports. Randomized controlled trials are necessary to assess its true efficacy.

      Abbreviations:

      CBD (Cannabidiol), AEDs (Anti-epileptic drugs), ARs (Adverse reactions)

      Keywords

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