Epidiolex was approved specifically for treating patients suffering from seizures associated with Dravet Syndrome, which is a severe form of epilepsy that affects between 20,000 and 40,000 people worldwide. Though Dravet Syndrome typically manifests itself in the first year of life, Epidiolex is only approved for treating patients two years of age and older.
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Of course, it’s wonderful to see the FDA approve this substance to help those suffering from this rare condition. But we know that cannabis is effective at helping to manage seizures caused by other forms of epilepsy—as well as other medical conditions—also. So why limit the use of Epidiolex to just this one condition?
The FDA Adds a New Condition for Treatment
It seems the FDA has been thinking along these same lines.
Just this year, Epidiolex was approved for the treatment of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, a condition characterized by the growth of benign tumors throughout the body. Though these tumors are noncancerous in nature, their presence can cause health problems, including epilepsy. Tuberous sclerosis complex affects about a million people worldwide. About 85% of these patients experience epilepsy as an effect of the condition, and more than half are unable to achieve seizure control.
However, trial results have shown a positive impact when patients were treated with Epidiolex, and doctors are pleased to add this new option to their list of potential tools for helping their patients, Epidiolex could make a difference in the lives of people suffering from tuberous sclerosis complex, and that’s a huge step for the FDA to take.
It also represents forward motion in the way we deal with cannabis in this country. Though the lack of federal legalization can be frustrating and difficult, and though it is holding us back, it is always encouraging to see organizations like the FDA make movements in the right direction. Soon, we hope to see cannabis-based treatment options made available for people managing a much wider variety of health conditions.
Kat Helgeson comes from a ten year career in social media marketing and content creation. She takes pride in her ability to communicate the culture and values of an organization via the written word. Kat is also the author of numerous books for young adults. Her titles have received the Junior Library Guild Award, the Bank Street College of Education Best Books of the Year Distinction, and been featured on the Illinois Reads selection list. Her work has been translated into Dutch and German.
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