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Clinical Experts Offer Advice on Prescribing Cannabis Medicines to Epilepsy Patients

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Generalized 3 Hz transient and wave discharges in a child with childhood absence epilepsy. Credit: Wikipedia.

There is considerable interest in using cannabis-based medications to help treat drug-resistant epilepsy, but clinicians have little guidance on how and when to prescribe these products. A working group of pediatric and adult epilepsy specialists, clinical pharmacists, pharmacologists and cannabis researchers from across Australia has recently developed a draft ‘consensus opinion’ for prescribers and published it. in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

The document provides an overview of the various cannabis-based medications currently available for the treatment of epilepsy in children and adults, with information on dose, drug interactions, toxicity, and type and frequency of symptoms. symptoms and relief of seizures. The consensus opinion will be updated as new evidence emerges and will provide the structure for a more definitive guideline in the future.

“In the absence of a registration dossier, scientific experiments and case reports are useful to provide guidance on dosage optimization. However, as in this guidance, observational data obtained from clinical practice, which often includes information not included in scientific experiments or even early trial data, such as the treatment of patients with other comorbidities, the use of multiple medications, and patient diversity, may be very useful for clinical practice,” said lead author Jennifer H. Martin, MBChB, MA, Ph.D., FRACP, researcher at Newcastle University and director of the Australian Center for Cannabis Clinical and Research Excellency.

Seizure frequency dropped by 86% in children treated with whole-plant medicinal cannabis

More information:
John Lawson et al, Expert advice for prescribing cannabis medicines for patients with epilepsy – drawn from Australian clinical experience, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (2022). DOI: 10.1111/bcp.15262

Quote: Clinical Experts Offer Advice on Prescribing Cannabis Medicines to Epilepsy Patients (March 9, 2022) Retrieved March 9, 2022 from cannabis-medicines.html

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