Purified pharmaceutical CBD may be an effective and safe adjunctive therapy in refractory epileptic spasms.

Purified pharmaceutical CBD may be an effective and safe adjunctive therapy in refractory epileptic spasms.

PMID: 

Epilepsy Behav. 2020 Mar 10 ;106:106988. Epub 2020 Mar 10. PMID: 32169600

Abstract Title: 

Cannabidiol in treatment of refractory epileptic spasms: An open-label study.

Abstract: 

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate clinical efficacy and safety of purified pharmaceutical cannabidiol (CBD) as an adjunctive therapy in refractory childhood-onset epileptic spasms (ES).METHODS: Nine patients with ES were enrolled in an Institutional Review Board (IRB)- and Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved expanded access investigational new drug trial. Patients received plant-derived highly purified CBD in oral solution in addition to their baseline medications at an initial dosage of 5 mg/kg/day, which was increased by 5 mg/kg/day every week to an initial target dosage of 25 mg/kg/day. Seizure frequency, adverse event, and parents' subjective reports of cognitive and behavioral changes were recorded after 2 weeks and 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of CBD treatment. Responder rates (percent of patients with>50% reduction in ES frequency from baseline) were calculated. Electrographic changes were studied in relation to CBD initiation and clinical response.RESULTS: Overall, the responder rates in 9 patients were 67%, 78%, 67%, 56%, 78%, 78%, and 78% after 2 weeks and 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of CBD treatment, respectively. Three out of nine patients (33%) were ES free after two months of treatment. Parents reported subjective improvements in cognitive and behavioral domains. Side effects, primarily drowsiness, were seen in 89% of patients (n = 8). Eight of the nine (89%) patients had electroencephalographic (EEG) studies prior to and after initiation of CBD. Three out of five patients (60%) had resolution in their hypsarrhythmia pattern.SIGNIFICANCE: Purified pharmaceutical CBD may be an effective and safe adjunctive therapy in refractory ES and may also be associated with improvements in electrographic findings.

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