Medical cannabis for children with epilepsy is licensed in the UK

MeN 2018 THE The suffering of 12-year-old Billy Coldwell, who suffers from epilepsy, has forced the government to issue a medical cannabis license. His seizures were controlled with pharmaceutical grade oil from Canada. It set a de facto precedent. In July of that year, cannabis products were legalized for patients with “exceptional clinical needs.”

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However, legality does not mean that it is available. Adults who are suitable for medical cannabis can usually get it with a private prescription, but children cannot. Neither of the two doctors who are willing to prescribe personally is taking on new patients. The parents of 5-year-old Jorja Emerson, who lives in Northern Ireland, said the retirement of the prescribing doctor could force the family to move to Canada. Only three children, including Billy Caldwell, were given a prescription by the National Health Service (“NHS).

Most children with epilepsy have other better options. But for a few, nothing seems to help. They have hundreds of seizures a week and can suffer neurological damage, which can be fatal. Some parents have products containing small amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), The psychoactive ingredient of cannabis has changed the lives of children.

The controversy over what works is common in medicine. And parents at the end of their wisdom sometimes turn to wise and ineffective options. However, cannabis is known to help with certain types of epilepsy. Approved treatments for the two forms of the condition include the non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol. Many well-performed studies, and some trials (not randomized controlled trials, but the gold standard of medicine), THC..

Health Minister Maria Caulfield states that access issues are clinical rather than political. Some have criticized the new guidelines from the British Pediatric Neurology Society (BPNA). The organization does not recommend the use of unlicensed cannabis products because it feels that there is not enough data on safety and efficacy.Counseling waiting for the outcome of the trial NHS.. These did not arrive before 2024.

Alasdair Parker, a pediatric neurology consultant at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, BPNAPresident of.In animal trials, he warns, small quantities THC It made the seizures worse, but not good. THC It is associated with the psychological problems of teenagers and some fear long-term effects on brain development.

But for desperate parents, such attention rarely cuts the ice. Concerns about long-term consequences are increasingly felt when compared to very poor quality of life and the risk of death, says Hannah Deacon. Her son Alfie (pictured) is one of three children. NHS The prescription, and she says he only saw improvement in the four years he took it. Other parents are looking to the black market to buy much higher levels of botanical products, she adds. THC..

In difficult cases, clinicians may make decisions when using “off-licensed” medications. However, the guidelines leave little room for it. David Jennings, a policy expert at the charity Epilepsy Action, said more flexibility was expected, and what emerged not only tightened the rules of personal prescribing, but also “responsible if something goes wrong.” I will be asked, “implicitly suggested to the clinician. ..

The debate has become ugly. Jennings says his parents are frustrated. Meanwhile, Dr. Parker said some pediatric neurologists feel “threatening, bullying, and harassment,” and some medical cannabis advocates “financially benefit from withdrawing our guidance.” There is. ” David Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, BPNA It’s annoying and even unethical.He has heard that children are dying due to a lack of affordable medical cannabis, and although not yet published in his study, using a product that includes both causes seizures in 50 minutes. It states that it shows a decrease to 1 in THC And cannabidiol.

It is not yet known how long it will take experts to resolve their differences. In the meantime, expect to hear more from your parents who are suffering aloud. It will make the matter political again, whether or not the Minister of Health likes it. ■■

This article was published in the UK section of the printed version under the heading “Hard Case”.

Medical cannabis for children with epilepsy is licensed in the UK

Source link Medical cannabis for children with epilepsy is licensed in the UK

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