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