For the first time, an FDA-approved drug made from the cannabis plant is available to consumers. The drug was approved by both the FDA and the DEA and has been on the market since November.
The oral solution Epidiolex was made as a treatment for two severe pediatric seizure disorders, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, that do not respond well to other treatments like Acetazolamide or Carbamazepine.
The difficulty in finding treatments for those who suffer from these forms of epilepsy pushed the creators, Britain-based GW Pharmaceuticals, to think beyond traditional methods to find a new therapy that worked.
Two Forms of Epilepsy
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome both usually begin in early childhood. Both can involve different types of seizures and can be very serious. Dravet syndrome can lead to a continuous seizure, status epilepticus, that is a medical emergency and often leads to problems with language development, hyper activity, and trouble relating to others. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome often leads to learning and intellectual disabilities.
Both syndromes can hinder motor skill development. The seizures caused by these forms of epilepsy are usually hard to manage, but one substance, Cannabidiol (CBD), that is found in marijuana has been shown to help.
CBD and Epidiolex
CBD is not like THC the chemical in marijuana that causes the feeling of euphoria that is often referred to as a “high”. This makes CBD a very valuable ingredient that is being used in many trendy treatments in the US. Epidiolex however is the first treatment using CBD to be approved by the FDA.
Epidiolex is a great example of the way that careful testing and research can help drug manufacturers find new, innovative ways to treat serious medical issues. As more research is done, there may be other uses for CBD, possibly leading to new breakthroughs.
Research into new and better treatments for many ailments is being done every day. That means that there are new drugs hitting the market. These drugs can often be very expensive, and some may not be covered by insurance. If you’re looking to make your prescription drugs more affordable, prescription offers can help.
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