The good oil

A Midland tod­dler suf­fer­ing up to 50 seizures a day is ben­e­fit­ing from the use of cannabis oil.

Midland Reporter - - News - Lau­ren Pi­lat

A LEAD­ING Perth neu­rol­o­gist who pre­scribed oil made from cannabis to treat a Midland tod­dler’s epilepsy says the “use­ful­ness” of man­ag­ing the con­di­tion is not strong.

Perth Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal head of neu­rol­ogy Dr Si­mon Wil­liams pre­scribed Zavier El­ward cannabid­iol (CBD) at his Midland par­ents’ re­quest.

The two-year-old’s mother, Shaileen Roberts, said they tried count­less med­i­ca­tions to treat Zavier’s epilepsy but noth­ing worked, so as a last re­sort they tri­alled the CBD oil.

“Be­fore Zavier took the oil, on a good day he was hav­ing about 20 seizures and on a bad day about 50 plus,” she said.

“He’s been on the CBD oil about a month and in that time he’s only had two seizures… it’s very promis­ing.”

Dr Wil­liams said the im­pact of CBD var­ied and was used for treat­ing epilepsy when pa­tient’s seizures did not suc­cess­fully re­spond to anti-seizure drug ther­apy.

“For most pa­tients it doesn’t make much dif­fer­ence, but for some it can help re­duce seizure fre­quency and in­ten­sity. Some par­ents re­port the chil­dren are brighter and more alert as well,” he said.

“Over­all, the ev­i­dence of its use­ful­ness in man­ag­ing epilepsy is not very strong.”

Dr Wil­liams said the treat­ment was gen­er­ally well tol­er­ated but could cause drowsi­ness and gut func­tion prob­lems.

“There is a very high de­mand for CBD for lots of dif­fer­ent in­di­ca­tions,” he said.

“I gen­er­ally ad­vise par­ents to use med­i­ca­tions that have good lev­els of ev­i­dence of use­ful­ness.”

WA Health Min­is­ter Roger Cook said CBD was used as an add-on to cur­rent treat­ment in drug-re­sis­tant epilepsy where four or five other anti-epilep­tic drugs had not worked.

“Most CBD prod­ucts are legally avail­able in Aus­tralia and can be pre­scribed by any med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner with­out fur­ther re­stric­tions,” he said.

AMA (WA) pres­i­dent Dr Omar Khor­shid said cur­rent leg­isla­tive frame­work for ac­cess­ing medic­i­nal cannabis could be con­fus­ing and pa­tients should go through the Spe­cial Ac­cess Scheme to ac­cess medicines not ap­proved by the Ther­a­peu­tic Goods Ad­min­is­tra­tion (TGA).

Zavier El­ward.

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