Exploring the Effects of Cannabis Derivative on Anti-Seizure Medicine Levels in Patients with Epilepsy

Key Takeaways:

  • Recent research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis derivative, impacts blood levels of various anti-seizure drugs, especially clobazam.
  • Despite the consumption of CBD, blood levels of most drugs stayed within the generally accepted range. However, some adult patients reported feeling more sedated with the administration of clobazam.
  • Due to CBD’s natural origin, it is regarded as generally safe. However, the study highlights that CBD, like other antiepileptic drugs, can interact with various seizure medications, warranting caution in its use.
  • Particular concern was observed among participants taking both CBD and valproate, as they showed higher liver function test results. The study emphasizes the importance of regular liver function monitoring during CBD treatment.

Scientific investigations regarding the use of the cannabis derivative, cannabidiol, in epilepsy treatments necessitate a thorough evaluation of any potential interactions with the range of anti-seizure medications that patients might already be using, according to a study.

Cannabidiol’s Interaction with Anti-Seizure Drugs

Recently conducted research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham suggests that cannabidiol impacts blood levels of various anti-seizure drugs, particularly clobazam.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has demonstrated potential as an anti-seizure agent in both animal-based and human trials, as the researchers state. They are currently examining its efficacy as a treatment for challenging-to-manage epilepsy in 39 adults and 42 children.

The suite of additional drugs that the participants are using encompasses clobazam, topiramate, rufinamide, zonisamide, valproate, and eslicarbazepine.

Changes in Drug Blood Levels

While it was observed that blood levels of some drugs experienced notable alterations, apart from clobazam, they remained within the generally accepted range when patients consumed cannabidiol, as detected by the study.

The researchers also documented that adult patients administering clobazam reported feeling more sedated.

The study shares these findings in the Epilepsia journal issue released on 7th August.

The “Natural” Label and its Implications

Typically, it is assumed that since CBD is derived from plants, it is a natural and safe substance. “Although this may be largely accurate, our study reveals that CBD, similar to other antiepileptic drugs, exhibits interactions with various seizure medications that both patients and providers should be cautious of,” warns the study’s author, Dr. Tyler Gaston, in a press release accompanying the journal publication.

Potential Areas of Concern

Another area of concern identified involved participants who were taking both valproate and CBD. The study indicated that these participants showed higher liver function test results compared to those not currently on valproate.

The team stresses the importance of regular liver function monitoring during CBD treatment.

Further Information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides in-depth information about epilepsy. You can read it here.

Susan Levin

Hello, wellness enthusiasts! I'm Dr. Susan Levin, and while I may share a name with a certain American film producer, our domains couldn’t be more different! My silver screen is the world of medical science, and I have a deep-rooted passion for guiding individuals on their health journeys.Born and raised amidst the picturesque landscapes of Great Britain, I've also called the vibrant state of New Jersey my home for a significant chapter of my life. Both places have contributed to my understanding of health, community, and the diverse lifestyles that shape our well-being.With an M.D. in hand and a wealth of knowledge from years of practice, my goal on TheAthletarian.com is to translate complex medical jargon into understandable, actionable advice for our readers. From the latest health trends to tried-and-true practices, I aim to be your reliable source for all things health and wellness.Join me as we unravel the intricacies of the human body and mind, ensuring that your health journey is informed, inspired, and most importantly, effective.
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