The Use of Cannabinoids in Pediatric Palliative Care—A Retrospective Single-Center Analysis

This data analysis aimed to systematically analyze a pediatric patient population with a life-limiting disease who were administered cannabinoids. It was a retrospective single-center analysis of patients under supervision of the specialized outpatient pediatric palliative care (SOPPC) team at the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine of the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). Thirty-one patients with a primary diagnosis of neuropediatric, oncologic, metabolic, and cardiologic categories were included. The indications we identified were spasticity, pain, restlessness, anxiety, loss of appetite, epilepsy, and paresis. Certain aspects of quality of life were improved for 20 of 31 patients (64.5%). For nine patients (29%), no improvement was detected. No conclusions could be drawn for two patients (6.5%). Adverse events were reported for six of the thirty-one patients (19.4%). These were graded as mild, including symptoms such as restlessness, nausea, and behavioral issues. We detected no clinically relevant interactions with other medications. We collected fundamental data on the use of cannabinoids by pediatric palliative patients. Cannabinoids are now frequently administered in pediatric palliative care. They seem to be safe to use and should be considered an add-on therapy for other drug regimens.