HealthDay News — The addition of cannabidiol to conventional antiepileptic medication is associated with a reduction in the frequency of drop seizures among patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, according to a study published in the May 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Orrin Devinsky, MD, from the New York University Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center in New York City, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial involving children and adults (aged 2 to 55 years) with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome who had had 2 or more drop seizures per week during a 28-day baseline period. Patients were randomized to cannabidiol oral solution at a dose of 20mg/kg (76 patients) or 10mg/kg of body weight (73 patients) or matching placebo (76 patients).
The researchers found that in all trial groups combined, the median number of drop seizures was 85 during the 28-day baseline period. The median percent reduction from baseline in drop-seizure frequency was 41.9, 37.2, and 17.2% in the 20-mg and 10-mg cannabidiol groups and in the placebo group, respectively. Somnolence, decreased appetite, and diarrhea were the most common adverse events among patients in the cannabidiol groups; these events occurred more often in the higher-dose group. Nine percent of those receiving cannabidiol had elevated liver aminotransferase concentrations.
“The addition of cannabidiol at a dose of 10mg or 20mg per kilogram per day to a conventional antiepileptic regimen resulted in greater reductions in the frequency of drop seizures than placebo,” the authors write.
The study was funded by GW Pharmaceuticals.