Emerging use of epidiolex (Cannabidiol) in epilepsy

Renad Abu-Sawwa, Brielle Scutt, Yong Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The first plant-derived, purified pharmaceutical-grade cannabidiol (CBD) medication, Epidiolex, was approved in the United States by the FDA on June 25, 2018. Its approval for patients ≥ 2 years of age with Dravet syndrome (DS) or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) markedly altered the treatment of medically refractory seizures in these disorders. This state-of-the-art review will discuss the history of CBD, its current pharmacology and toxicology, evidence supporting its use in a variety of epileptic syndromes, common side effects and adverse effects, and pharmacokinetically based drug-drug interactions. Owing to the importance in considering side effects, adverse effects, and drug-drug interactions in patients with medically refractory epilepsy syndromes, this review will take a deeper look into the nuances of the above within a clinical context, as compared to the other antiepileptic medications. Furthermore, despite the limited data regarding clinically significant drug-drug interactions, potential pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions with CBD and other antiepileptics are theorized on the basis of their metabolic pathways. The article will further elucidate future research in terms of long-term efficacy, safety, and drug interactions that is critical to addressing unanswered questions relevant to clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-499
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antiepileptics
  • Cannabidiol
  • CBD
  • Epilepsy
  • Lennox-Gastaut, Dravet syndrome
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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