First cannabis-based medicine approved by FDA arrives in the U.S.
Epidiolex, made with cannabidiol, is to be used to treat two types of epilepsy
November 2, 2018
For the first time, a marijuana-based medicine approved by federal regulators is available for prescription in the United States.
The medicine, called Epidiolex, is used to treat seizures related to Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes, two forms of epilepsy, which is a neurological disorder, according to a news release.
"Because these patients have historically not responded well to available seizure medications, there has been a dire need for new therapies that aim to reduce the frequency and impact of seizures," said Justin Gover, chief executive officer of GW Pharmaceuticals, the United Kingdom-based company that developed the drug, in a statement.
The oral medication was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June. It is made using plant-derived cannabidiol, which lacks the high associated with marijuana.
Epidiolex, when added to other anti-epileptic treatments, reduced the frequency of seizures in patients during clinical trials, according to GW Pharmaceuticals.