Cannabidiol-Based Drug Effective On Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Details Here [VIDEO]
In the Phase 3 of the clinical trials conducted by GW Pharmaceuticals and the Ohio State University on the effectiveness of Epidiolex, results showed that the cannabis-based drug lowered the number of epileptic seizures experienced by children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome by half.
What Is Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome?
The Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is one of the rare forms of epilepsy, where the patient has different types of seizures, which can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. These seizures often are drop attacks where the person falls to because the body loses muscle tone. Aside from genetics, doctors believe that the condition can be caused when there are brain injuries during birth or brain infections.
The trial observed 225 teens around the age of 16 for a period of 14 weeks. The study group was composed of people who averaged 85 drop seizures a month and had tried other epilepsy drugs but had no effect on them, The San Diego Tribune reported.
The study showed that the patients tolerated the drug for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome well, recording only moderate side effects like sleepiness and lack of apetite. The result of the large placebo-controlled study also showed that Epidiolex dramatically cut the frequency of seizures to more than 50 percent.
Some 66 percent of the patients who took the drug reported an improvement of their overall condition. This was compared to the 44 percent who were in the placebo group, Epilepsy News Today reported.
The US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency have both granted the drug for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome "orphan status". An orphan status for a drug means that it is an approved medical treatment for a life-threatening disease but is extremely rare. European standards consider a disease rare if it affects only one in 2,000 people.
With orphan status, this treatment for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome can be developed, despite the small number of intended patients. The high cost of bringing this drug to the market will be offset by economic incentives to encourage the pharmaceutical companies to continue their development.