FDA Approves First Marijuana-Derived Epilepsy Treatment

The FDA has approved a cannabidiol (CBD) treatment for 2 rare and severe forms of epilepsy, making it the first FDA-approved medication that contains a purified drug substance derived from marijuana.

The FDA has approved a cannabidiol (CBD) treatment for 2 rare and severe forms of epilepsy, making it the first FDA-approved medication that contains a purified drug substance derived from marijuana, according to a press release.

Epidiolex is an oral solution indicated to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome in patients 2 years and older. The first in a new category of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), Epidiolex is a prescription formulation of highly-purified, plant-derived CBD, a cannabinoid lacking the high associated with marijuana.

LGS and Dravet syndrome are rare, severe forms of epilepsy that both typically develop in childhood and are associated with high rates of early morbidity. Most patients with LGS and Dravet syndrome experience frequent seizures and are resistant to currently approved AEDs, requiring treatment with multiple seizure medications. This is the first FDA approval of a drug to treat Dravet syndrome.

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