Why is this medication prescribed?
With Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a condition that starts in infancy and causes seizures, developmental delays, and behavioral issues, with Dravet syndrome, a condition that starts in infancy and causes seizures and may later cause developmental delays and changes in eating, balance, and walking, or with tuberous sclerosis complex, cannabidiol is used to treat seizures in adults and children 1 year of age and older. A group of drugs known as cannabinoids includes cannabidiol. Cannabidiol’s precise mechanism of action in reducing seizure activity is unknown.
How should this medicine be used?
Cannabidiol is available as a liquid solution that can be ingested. Usually, it is taken twice a day. Whether you take cannabidiol with meals or not, just make sure you take it consistently each time. Take your daily dose of cannabidiol at roughly the same time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Follow the medication instructions precisely. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.
To measure the solution, use the oral syringe that was provided with the medicine. Don’t measure your dose with a regular spoon.
Each time you take the medication, use a dry oral syringe. If water is present in the pharmaceutical bottle or the syringe, the solution may become cloudy, but neither the safety nor the effectiveness of the drug will be affected.
A feeding tube can be used to provide the oral medication. Ask your doctor how you should take the medication if you have a feeding tube. Pay close attention to these guidelines.
Cannabidiol will likely be prescribed to you at a modest dosage by your doctor, who will then gradually increase it—typically no more than once per week.
Although it does not treat your ailment, cannabidiol helps you manage it. Even if you feel well, keep taking cannabidiol. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking cannabidiol. You can have withdrawal symptoms such as new or severe seizures if you abruptly stop using cannabidiol. Your dose will likely be gradually reduced by your doctor.
The patient information sheet (Medication Guide) from the manufacturer will be provided to you by your doctor or pharmacist when you start cannabidiol treatment and each time you get a prescription refill. If you have any questions, carefully read the material and contact your doctor or pharmacist. The Medication Guide is also available on the manufacturer’s website or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.
Other uses for this medicine
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking cannabidiol,
- If you have any allergies, including to sesame seed oil, cannabidiol, any drugs, or any of the substances in cannabidiol solution, inform your doctor and pharmacist right away. For a list of the ingredients, consult the Medication Guide or speak with your pharmacist.
- Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbal items, nutritional supplements, and any drugs you are now taking or intend to take. Any of the following should be mentioned: Antidepressants, anxiety drugs, clonazepam (Onfi), bupropion (Aplenzin, Zyban), caffeine, carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, Teril), cimetidine (Tagamet), clarithromycin (in Biaxin), diazepam (Diastat, Valium), diflunisal, and diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Taztia, others); fluoxetine (Prozac), felbamate (Felbatol), fenofibrate (Antara), fluvoxamine (Luvox), gemfibrozil (Lopid), indinavir (Crixivan), isoniazid (Laniazid, in Rifater), itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox), ketoconazole, lamotrigine (Lamictal), and others. efavirenz (Sustiva); oral contraceptives, lansoprazole (Prevacid), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), morphine (Astramorph, Kadian), nefazodone, nelfinavir (Viracept), nevirapine (Viramune), omeprazole (Prilosec), drugs for mental illness; pantoprazole (Protonix); theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theo-24), ticlopidine, tranquilizers, valproate (Depacon), verapamil (Verelan), rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifadin, in Rifamate, in Rifater), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), sedatives, sleeping pills, seizure drugs, and voriconazole Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects. Tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking, even any not on this list, as many other drugs may also interact with cannabidiol.
- Please let your doctor know if you are taking any herbal supplements, especially St. John’s Wort.
- If you consume excessive amounts of prescription pharmaceuticals, street drugs, or alcohol, or if you have ever done so, let your doctor know. Moreover, let your doctor know if you now or ever had liver illness, suicidal thoughts or behavior, depression, mental disorders, or mood swings.
- Inform your physician if you are nursing a baby, intend to get pregnant, or are already pregnant. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking cannabidiol.
- You need to be conscious of the possibility that cannabidiol will make you feel tired or unable to concentrate. Avoid operating machinery or operating a vehicle before you know how this medication will effect you.
- When using alcohol while taking cannabidiol, consult your doctor about the best course of action. The negative effects of cannabidiol can sometimes be exacerbated by alcohol.
- You should be aware that while using cannabidiol, your mental health may alter in unexpected ways and you could develop suicidal thoughts (plans or attempts to injure or kill yourself). Around 1 in 500 adults and children aged 5 and older who were prescribed anticonvulsants to address a variety of diseases during clinical studies developed suicide thoughts while receiving medication. You run the chance of experiencing changes in your mental state if you use an anticonvulsant drug like cannabidiol, but you also run the risk of experiencing such changes if your disease is left untreated. Whether the hazards of using an anticonvulsant drug outweigh the dangers of not using it will be decided by you and your doctor. Any of the following symptoms should prompt you, your family, or your caregiver to call your doctor immediately away: mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood); talking or thinking about wanting to hurt yourself or end your life; withdrawing from friends and family; preoccupation with death and dying; giving away prized possessions; or any other unusual changes in behavior or mood. panic attacks, agitation or restlessness; new or worsening irritability, anxiety, or depression; acting on dangerous impulses; difficulty falling or staying asleep; aggressive, angry, or violent behavior. Make sure your family or caregiver is aware of any symptoms that could be significant so they can contact the doctor on your behalf if you are unable to call for help.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
If you plan to consume grapefruits or grapefruit juice while taking this medication, consult your doctor.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
There may be negative effects from cannabidiol. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:
- Having trouble falling or staying asleep
- Reduced appetite
- Slim down
- Discomfort in the stomach
- Salivation in excess or drooling
- Difficulties walking
Certain adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you encounter any of these symptoms, or seek emergency care:
- Nausea, vomiting, yellowing of the skin or eyes, itching, unusually darkening of the urine, or pain or discomfort in the right upper stomach area
- Fever, cough, or other infection-related symptoms
Further negative effects of cannabidiol are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.
You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone if you have a serious side event.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature. Don’t freeze or chill the solution. Any unused oral solution that is still in the bottle after 12 weeks should be thrown away.
Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org
Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilizing a medicine take-back program is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programs in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back program, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Moreover, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.
What other information should I know?
Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. Before and during your therapy, your doctor will request certain lab tests to monitor your body’s response to cannabidiol.
Inform the lab staff and your doctor that you are taking cannabidiol prior to any laboratory test.
No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.
You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.