In a world first, a new cannabis gel currently being trialed at The Royal Melbourne Hospital could be the answer to adult epileptic seizures.
Applied to the skin on the upper arms, it is hoped that the cannabidiol (CBD) gel will reduce the number and severity of seizures for adults with partial-onset seizures.
The study will randomise the dosage of the gel for patients every 12 hours, or a placebo gel every 12 hours for 12 weeks before moving to an open-label phase.
Led by Royal Melbourne Hospital Neurologist and University of Melbourne Professor of Medicine, Dr Terry O’Brien, the clinical trial is open to adults who have had partial-onset seizures for at least two years and on a stable regime of antiepileptic drugs.
“Initially, during the study we will assess if the gel affects the frequency of the seizures over the 12-week treatment period. We will also then evaluate the safety and tolerability of the gel,” Professor O’Brien said.
“Gels are easily absorbed through the skin directly, bypassing the stomach, thereby hopefully increasing the absorption and tolerability of the drug.
“We are still looking for that one solution that will help reduce, ultimately prevent seizures from occurring. This study will go a long way in helping us gather evidence to the effects of cannabidiol gel.”
The trial will recruit patients for 10 sites across NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.
If you are interested in taking part in the study visit: http://clinicaltrial.mediscreener.com/epilepsy/