Background: There is a paucity of high-quality evidence of the efficacy and safety of cannabis-based medicinal products in treatment of treatment-resistant epilepsy (TRE) in children.
Methods: A case series of children (<18 years old) with TRE from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry was analyzed. Primary outcomes were ≥50% reduction in seizure frequency, changes in the Impact of Pediatric Epilepsy Score (IPES), and incidence of adverse events.
Results: Thirty-five patients were included in the analysis. Patients were prescribed during their treatment with the following: CBD isolate oils (n = 19), CBD broad-spectrum oils (n = 17), and CBD/Δ9-THC combination therapy (n = 17). Twenty-three (65.7%) patients achieved a ≥50% reduction in seizure frequency. 94.1% (n = 16) of patients treated with CBD and Δ9-THC observed a ≥50% reduction in seizure frequency compared to 31.6% (n = 6) and 17.6% (n = 3) of patients treated with CBD isolates and broad-spectrum CBD products, respectively (p< 0.001). Twenty-six (74.3%) adverse events were reported by 16 patients (45.7%). The majority of these were mild (n = 12; 34.2%) and moderate (n = 10; 28.6%).
Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrate a positive signal of improved seizure frequency in children treated with Cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) for TRE. Moreover, the results suggest that CBMPs are well-tolerated in the short term. The limitations mean causation cannot be determined in this open-label, case series.
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