Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Medical cannabis for severe treatment resistant epilepsy in children: a case-series of 10 patients

Zafar, Rayyan, Schlag, Anne, Phillips, Lawrence and Nutt, David J. (2021) Medical cannabis for severe treatment resistant epilepsy in children: a case-series of 10 patients. BMJ Paediatrics Open, 5 (1). ISSN 2399-9772

[img] Text (e001234.full (2)) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (534kB)

Identification Number: 10.1136/bmjpo-2021-001234


Objectives To report the findings of a case-series of 10 children suffering with intractable epilepsies in the UK to determine the feasibility for using whole-plant cannabis medicines to treat seizures in children. Setting This study was conducted retrospectively through collecting clinical data from caretakers and clinicians on study outcome variables. Participants were recruited through the MedCann Support and End our Pain charity groups which are patient representative groups that support children who are using medical cannabis to treat their epilepsies. Medicines were prescribed to patients by clinicians in both National Health Service and private medical practices. Follow-up calls were conducted throughout the period January 2021 to May 2021 to keep data recorded up to date. Participants Ten children, 18 years old or under, with intractable epilepsies were recruited from two charities. There were no limitations on diagnosis, sex or ethnic origin. Interventions Participants were treated with a range of whole-plant medical cannabis oils. Individual dosing regimens were determined by clinicians. Primary outcome measure The primary outcome measure was seizure frequency. Results Seizure frequency across all 10 participants reduced by 86% with no significant adverse events. Participants reduced use of antiepileptic drugs from an average of seven to one following treatment with medical cannabis. We also noted significant financial costs of £874 per month to obtain these medicines through private prescriptions. Conclusions This study establishes the feasibility of whole-plant medical cannabis as an effective and well-tolerated medicine for reducing seizure frequency in children suffering with intractable epilepsies. These findings justify the potential value of further research into the reported therapeutic benefit of whole-plant medicinal cannabis products.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Management
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2022 16:18
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2022 15:42

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics