Objective: To evaluate the potential impact of concomitant clobazam (CLB) use on the efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) treatment in patients with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome using meta-analytical techniques.
Methods: We searched for randomized, placebo-controlled, single- or double-blinded trials. The proportion of patients who achieved ≥50% reduction from baseline in seizure frequency during the treatment period was assessed according to CLB status. Risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated.
Results: Four trials were included and enrolled 714 participants, 429 for the add-on CBD group and 285 for the add-on placebo group. Among CBD-treated patients, 240 (55.9%) were taking concomitant CLB (CLB-On) and 189 (44.1%) were not taking concomitant CLB (CLB-Off); in placebo-treated patients, 158 (55.4%) were CLB-On and 127 (44.6%) CLB-Off. The percentages of patients who had at least 50% reduction in seizure frequency during the treatment period were 29.1% in the CBD arm and 15.7% in the placebo group among CLB-Off patients (RR = 1.80, 95% CI = 1.12-2.90, P = .015). Among CBL-On patients, the ≥50% reduction in seizure frequency was found in 52.9% and 27.8% in the CBD and placebo groups, respectively (RR = 1.85, 95% CI = 1.40-2.44, P < .001).
Significance: CBD was associated with a higher rate of seizure response in comparison to placebo when added to the existing antiepileptic regimen both in patients taking and in those not taking concomitant CLB. The lack of randomization for CLB status and the limited sample size need to be considered in the interpretation of the findings.
Keywords: Dravet syndrome; Lennox-Gastaut syndrome; cannabidiol; clobazam; epilepsy.