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Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy
- McGrath, Stephanie, Bartner, Lisa R., Rao, Sangeeta, Packer, Rebecca A., Gustafson, Daniel L.
- Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2019 v.254 no.11 pp. 1301-1308
- adverse effects, alkaline phosphatase, ataxia (disorder), blood serum, cannabidiol, dogs, enzyme activity, epilepsy, oils, placebos
- OBJECTIVE To assess the effect of oral cannabidiol (CBD) administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. DESIGN Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial. ANIMALS 26 client-owned dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy. PROCEDURES Dogs were randomly assigned to a CBD (n = 12) or placebo (14) group. The CBD group received CBD-infused oil (2.5 mg/kg [1.1 mg/lb], PO) twice daily for 12 weeks in addition to existing antiepileptic treatments, and the placebo group received noninfused oil under the same conditions. Seizure activity, adverse effects, and plasma CBD concentrations were compared between groups. RESULTS 2 dogs in the CBD group developed ataxia and were withdrawn from the study. After other exclusions, 9 dogs in the CBD group and 7 in the placebo group were included in the analysis. Dogs in the CBD group had a significant (median change, 33%) reduction in seizure frequency, compared with the placebo group. However, the proportion of dogs considered responders to treatment (≥ 50% decrease in seizure activity) was similar between groups. Plasma CBD concentrations were correlated with reduction in seizure frequency. Dogs in the CBD group had a significant increase in serum alkaline phosphatase activity. No adverse behavioral effects were reported by owners. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Although a significant reduction in seizure frequency was achieved for dogs in the CBD group, the proportion of responders was similar between groups. Given the correlation between plasma CBD concentration and seizure frequency, additional research is warranted to determine whether a higher dosage of CBD would be effective in reducing seizure activity by ≥ 50%.