The safety, tolerability, and effectiveness of PTL-101, an oral cannabidiol formulation, in pediatric intractable epilepsy: A phase II, open-label, single-center study

Epilepsy Behav. 2019 Sep;98(Pt A):233-237. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2019.07.007. Epub 2019 Aug 5.


Introduction: Several works have reported on the antiepileptic impact of cannabis-based preparations in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy (TRE). However, current formulations suffer from low bioavailability and side effects. PTL-101, an oral formulation containing highly purified cannabidiol (CBD) embedded in seamless gelatin matrix beadlets was designed to enhance bioavailability and maintain a constant gastrointestinal transit time.

Methods: This phase II, prospective study was open to pediatric patients with TRE on stable antiepileptic drugs' (AEDs) doses, who experienced ≥4 seizures within four weeks of enrolment and with a history of ≥4 AEDs failing to provide seizure control. Following a 4-week observation period, patients began a 2-week dose-titration phase (up to ≤25mg/kg or 450mg, the lower of the two), followed by a 10-week maintenance treatment period. Caregivers recorded seizure frequency, type, and severity and ranked their global impressions after 7 and 12weeks of treatment. Responders were those showing a ≥50% reduction from baseline monthly seizure frequency. Safety assessments monitored vital signs, adverse effects, physical and neurological exams, and laboratory tests.

Results: Sixteen patients (age: 9.1±3.4) enrolled in the study; 11 completed the full treatment program. The average maintenance dose was 13.6±4.2mg/kg. Patient adherence to treatment regimens was 96.3±9.9%. By the end of the treatment period, 81.9% and 73.4±24.6% (p<0.05) reductions from baseline median seizure count and monthly seizure frequency, respectively, were recorded. Responders' rate was 56%; two patients became fully seizure-free. By study end, 8 (73%) caregivers reported an improved/very much improved condition, and 9 (82%) reported reduced/very much reduced seizure severity. Most commonly reported treatment-related adverse effects were sleep disturbance/insomnia, (4 (25.0%) patients), followed by somnolence, increased seizure frequency, and restlessness (3 patients each (18.8%)). None were serious or severe, and all resolved.

Conclusions: PTL-101 was safe and tolerable for use and demonstrated a potent seizure-reducing effect among pediatric patients with TRE.

Keywords: Cannabidiol; Cannabinoids; Clinical study; Intractable epilepsy; Oral drug delivery; Pediatric.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage*
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Cannabidiol / administration & dosage*
  • Cannabidiol / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Compounding
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy / diagnosis*
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy / epidemiology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / diagnosis
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Cannabidiol