Vicino Walter, Muccioli Lorenzo, Pondrelli Federica, Licchetta Laura, Stipa Carlotta, Mostacci Barbara, Di Vito Lidia, Ferri Lorenzo, Cancellerini Chiara, Soldà Martina, Tinuper Paolo, Bisulli Francesca


July 15,  2023


To evaluate the efficacy and safety of cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of epilepsy in a real-world setting.

In this retrospective observational study, we included PwE with epilepsy who received a prescription for CBD between 01.03.2019 and 30.11.2022 and had a follow-up period ≥ 3 months. Participants were evaluated at baseline and after 3, 6, and 12 months. “Responders” were defined as individuals experiencing a reduction in seizure frequency > 30% but < 80% compared to baseline, while “super responders” were those with a reduction ≥ 80%. Adverse events were recorded to assess safety.

Forty-two PwE were included (mean age 36.1±10.9 years; 14 females). In 24 patients CBD was prescribed on-label (Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, n=18; Dravet syndrome, n=5; tuberous sclerosis, n=1), while 18 patients were treated off-label (ring chromosome 20 syndrome, n=1; ring chromosome 17 syndrome, n=1; Lafora disease, n=3; Unverricht-Lundborg disease, n=1; polymicrogyria, n=2; febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome, n=1; non-lesional focal epilepsy, n=2; developmental and/or epileptic encephalopathy of unknown etiology n=6). The mean number of concomitant antiseizure medications was 3.4 (≥2 for all patients). At 3 months, 10 subjects (23%) were “responders” and 12 (29%) were “super-responders”. Efficacy was sustained at 6 and 12 months of follow-up. Twenty-two patients (52.3%) developed AEs, with drowsiness (36.5%) and diarrhea (9.8%) being the most common. The retention rate was 85.7%, 78.6%, and 71.4% at 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively.

In this monocentric real-world study, CBD was a safe and effective therapeutic option for highly drug-resistant patients, leading to a dramatic reduction in seizure frequency in over one-fourth of them, including off-label indications.

DOI: 10.1016/j.seizure.2023.07.009


Walter, V., Lorenzo, M., Federica, P., Laura, L., Carlotta, S., Barbara, M., … & Francesca, B. (2023). Real-world experience with cannabidiol as add-on treatment in drug-resistant epilepsy. Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy.