First cannabis-based medicine approved by FDA arrives in the U.S. |

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

Jessica Seaman / The Denver Post
Epidiolex, a medicine made from the marijuana plant but without THC, reduced seizures in children with severe forms of epilepsy and was granted approval for use in the United States.
AP Photo/Kathy Young, File

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.

Read the full story on The Denver Post website.

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