Cannabidiol in the acute phase of Febrile Infection-Related Epilepsy Syndrome (FIRES)
Febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES) is a prolonged refractory status epilepticus (SE) that develops among healthy individuals after a febrile infection.
FIRES treatment is challenging due to its poor response to anti-seizure medications (ASMs) and anesthetic drugs. The use of cannabidiol (CBD) as an adjunctive treatment has been suggested, albeit data about its role in the acute phase is lacking. This report describes the use of purified CBD in the acute phase of two pediatric cases of FIRES and their long-term outcome.
Both children were treated with several ASMs, immunomodulators, anesthetics, and non-pharmacological treatment (ketogenic diet). CBD was administered, as an adjunctive treatment, through nasogastric tube about 30 days after onset. SE resolved within three days of reaching the target dose and both were seizure-free for one year after.
Although it is difficult to define the extent to which each previous therapy contributed to recovery, in both cases CBD therapy was a turning point, reinforcing its potential role as add-on treatment in the acute phase of FIRES.