Drug-drug interactions and pharmacodynamics of concomitant clobazam and cannabidiol or stiripentol in refractory seizures.

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The goal of this study was to characterize the drug-drug interactions between clobazam and 2 antiseizure drugs, cannabidiol and stiripentol, for treatment of refractory seizures through the use of pharmacokinetic modeling.


A population pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model was developed to characterize the combined effect of clobazam and its active metabolite, N-desmethylclobazam (i.e., N-clobazam), on seizure protection in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome using data from the phase 3 CONTAIN trial. Drug-drug interactions between clobazam and cannabidiol were examined by comparing model-generated data to data from a study of 13 patients taking concomitant clobazam and cannabidiol. Modeling data were also descriptively compared with studies of patients administered both clobazam and stiripentol. Sedation-related adverse events from CONTAIN were analyzed to determine the exposure-somnolence relationship of clobazam.


Exposure-efficacy analysis from the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model using CONTAIN data indicated that clobazam (half-maximal effective concentration [EC50], 303 ng/mL) was 3 times more potent than N-clobazam (EC50, 899 ng/mL). After administration of clobazam, when both clobazam and N-clobazam concentrations were each 1 to 2 times the EC50 value (clobazam dose, 20 mg), 70.0%-74.9% seizure protection was predicted; when concentrations were >2 times the EC50 value (clobazam dose, 40 mg), 74.0%-96.9% seizure protection was predicted. Generalized additive model analyses demonstrated decreased seizure probability with higher plasma concentration of clobazam. Coadministration of stiripentol and clobazam resulted in increased respective median plasma concentrations of clobazam and N-clobazam (1.1-1.2 times and 5.2-8.2 times) compared with administration of placebo and clobazam. Probability of somnolence significantly increased with age and higher N-clobazam plasma concentration.


Awareness of drug-drug interactions between clobazam and cannabidiol is needed when adding cannabidiol or stiripentol to a regimen of clobazam or vice versa. Based upon our population pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model, we predict that an increase in N-clobazam levels, which patient data show may enhance efficacy and/or make adverse events such as somnolence more likely.

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