“Objective: Cannabidiol (CBD) is approved for treatment of Dravet syndrome (DS), Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Several studies suggest anti-seizure effects also beyond these three epilepsy syndromes.
Methods: In a retrospective multi-center study, we analyzed the efficacy and tolerability of CBD in patients with epilepsy at 16 epilepsy centers.
Results: The study cohort comprised 311 patients with epilepsy with a median age of 11.3 (0-72) years (235 children and adolescents, 76 adults). Therapy with CBD was off-label in 91.3% of cases due to age, epilepsy subtype, lack of adjunct therapy with clobazam, and/or higher dose applied. CBD titration regimens were slower than recommended, with good tolerability of higher doses particularly in children. Of all patients, 36.9% experienced a reduction in seizure frequency of >50%, independent of their epilepsy subtype or clobazam co-medication. The median observation period was 15.8 months. About one third of all patients discontinued therapy within the observation period due to adverse effects or lack of efficacy. Adverse effects were reported frequently (46.9%).
Significance: Our study highlights that CBD has an anti-seizure effect comparable to other anti-seizure medications with a positive safety profile independent of the epilepsy subtype. Comedication with clobazam was not associated with a better outcome. Higher doses to achieve seizure frequency reduction were safe, particularly in children. These findings call for further trials for an extended approval of CBD for other epilepsy subtypes and for children < 2 years of age.”