Does Marijuana Help Children With Severe Epilepsy?

According to a new study, it shows promise. Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are examples of severe epilepsy in children. Current medications are usually only partly helpful. Cannabidiol is the component of marijuana that does not include the psychoactive part of the plant. It is a liquid taken daily by mouth. In the study, there was an over 50% reduction in the number of seizures with this treatment. Six percent stopped taking the drug because of side effects, which were mainly drowsiness, diarrhea, decreased appetite. These findings will lead to larger placebo-controlled double-blind trials.

This study was presented at the AAN 67th Annual Meeting by Dr Orrin Devinsky of the NYU Epilepsy Center.

Jack Florin, MD

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