An epilepsy drug made from marijuana was approved today by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The new drug, called Epidiolex, treats two rare and devastating forms of epilepsy. It reduces the number of seizures by about 40 percent in patients with Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut syndromes. The drug, manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals, is made of cannabidiol, which is a component of marijuana that does not give users a high and therefore is non-addictive. It is manufactured in an oil form. In clinical trials, Epidiolex produced some side effects on the liver.
Epilepsy: What Are Dravet And Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes
Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet epileptic syndromes are severe diseases. Patients suffer from debilitating and recurrent seizures that can occur dozens of times a day. One in five patients die before they are 20 years old.
Doctors also plan to prescribe Epidiolex for other epileptic conditions.
Epilepsy: Current Treatments
Epidiolex should be on the market within the next 90 days. Price has yet to be determined. Currently, many families have moved to states where marijuana is legal so they could get treated.
According to the FDA, Epidiolex now serves as a model for bringing more non-addictive marijuana products to market. It is encouraging pharmaceutical companies to launch more critical trials of non-addicting marijuana derived CBD critical trials. Drugs that work and are safe will be quickly approved.
Epidiolex was approved based on well-controlled clinical trials evaluating its effectiveness. Moreover, this is a purified form of CBD that is delivered in a reliable dosage form and consistent delivery route.