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Marijuana drug helps patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome to reduce the number of seizures
A marijuana-based drug again showed positive results in the treatment of a rare form of childhood epilepsy. The drug, called Epidiolex, reduces the number of seizures in patients with the severe form of epilepsy known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Marijuana is a plant that is used worldwide as an intoxicant. However, scientists have now found in an investigation that a marijuana-based drug also reduces the seizures of patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The physicians of “GW Pharmaceuticals” published a press release on the results of their study.
Epidiolex also helps with Dravet syndrome
While the drug Epidiolex went through the third phase of the clinical trial, a reduction in seizures in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome was diagnosed, the researchers say. Already in March it was found that the same drug also has positive effects on the so-called Dravet syndrome. This is another type of epilepsy for which there has been no official treatment.
Epidiolex reduces the number of seizures by up to 44 percent
Epidiolex reduces the number of seizures by up to 44 percent in a month, the scientists say. In comparison, a placebo only reduces the seizures that occur by 22 percent. If Epidiolex is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it would be the first drug of its kind to receive approval for the treatment of rare types of childhood epilepsy, the manufacturer explains.
The drug contains cannabidiol but no THC
The drug contains one of the active chemicals found in marijuana. In contrast to the THC contained in marijuana, this cannabidiol does not cause feelings of drowsiness or euphoria, the experts say. Cannabidiol has been studied in various older studies as a pain relief option. With regard to the health risks posed by the general use of marijuana, studies have recently concluded that the use of marijuana does not have any significant consequences for physical health.
About 4.3 million people around the world suffer from various types of epilepsy
Epilepsy affects approximately 4.3 million people around the world. However, the nature of the disease and the types of seizures vary among patients. Not every person with epilepsy reacts equally to certain treatments. Of course, this also applies to treatments with cannabidiol. Not every country in the world also supports the use of marijuana to treat certain diseases. In Germany, for example, doctors already spoke out against free marijuana on sick leave.
Doctors want to test whether Epidiolex helps with infantile spasms and tuberous sclerosis
In addition to approval from Epidiolex as a treatment for Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, the researchers also want to explore potential cannabidiol treatment for patients with infantile spasms and tuberous sclerosis disease. Tuberous sclerosis is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in various organs. These can then cause seizures, the scientists explain. The manufacturing biotech company is also testing how well Epidiolex works in treating other types of epilepsy. The manufacturer hopes that Epidiolex will one day be able not only to reduce the number of seizures, but to stop them completely.
Epidiolex is even and has the hallmarks of real pharmaceutical medicine
Marijuana is partly freely available on the US market, but it is still worthwhile to obtain a prescription, for example, if those affected only need cannabidiol, the doctors say. The natural plant is influenced by pesticides or fertilizers, the version on prescription will not have these problems, emphasizes Steve Schultz vice president of the biotech company. (as)