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Can Medical Marijuana Help Treat Intractable Epilepsy?

A new British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology review examines the potential of medicinal cannabis—or medical marijuana—for helping patients with intractable epilepsy, in which seizures fail to come under control with standard anticonvulsant treatment.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 12:01 am EDT
"The emergence over the past 12 months of the first successful double-blind randomized controlled trials of cannabidiol is good news for some desperate families of children with severe epilepsy. These studies are a reminder though that this drug is no miracle, and we still have much to learn"

A new British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology review examines the potential of medicinal cannabis—or medical marijuana—for helping patients with intractable epilepsy, in which seizures fail to come under control with standard anticonvulsant treatment.

The authors note that cannabidiol—the most researched compound of cannabis—may have modest efficacy and be appropriate for children with severe epilepsy, but attention must be paid to potential side effects and drug interactions. There is no evidence to guide physicians in ranking cannabidiol among current antiepileptic drugs, and it will be important to continue studying its potential through rigorous clinical trials.

“The emergence over the past 12 months of the first successful double-blind randomized controlled trials of cannabidiol is good news for some desperate families of children with severe epilepsy. These studies are a reminder though that this drug is no miracle, and we still have much to learn,” said co-author Dr. John Anthony Lawson, of Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, in Australia.

Additional Information:

Link to study:  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bcp.13711

About Journal:

Published on behalf of the British Pharmacological Society, the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology contains papers and reports on all aspects of drug action in humans: review articles, mini review articles, original papers, commentaries, editorials and letters. The Journal enjoys a wide readership, bridging the gap between the medical profession, clinical research and the pharmaceutical industry. It also publishes research on new methods, new drugs and new approaches to treatment.

About Wiley 

Wiley, a global research and learning company, helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 210 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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