Effects of Epidiolex® (Cannabidiol) on seizure-related emergency department visits and hospital admissions: A retrospective cohort study

Renad Abu-Sawwa, Aaron Chase, Olubusola Fowowe, Yong Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential impact of cannabidiol (CBD) on healthcare resource utilization and determine the effect of CBD on seizure-related emergency departments (ED) and hospital admissions in patients with epilepsy. Methods: This single-center, retrospective longitudinal cohort study included patients ≥1 year on CBD, excluding participants in CBD clinical trials or on <6 months of CBD therapy. Demographics, antiseizure medications (ASM), ED and hospital admissions were collected from the electronic medical record. Co-primary outcomes included change in seizure-related ED and hospital admissions. Secondary outcomes included change in ASMs and total ED or hospital admissions. Co-primary outcomes were assessed using generalized linear modeling. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze all other variables. Results: In the one-hundred total patients, there was no difference in either seizure-related ED visits (0.012 vs 0.011, p = 0.85) or hospital admissions per month (0.019 vs 0.021, p = 0.7). However, given the low percentage of the total cohort (n = 100) with either a seizure-related ED visits and hospital admissions (9% and 18%, respectively), a subgroup analysis was conducted. Those with seizure-related hospital admissions prior to CBD (n = 18) had significantly less seizure-related hospital admissions after initiation of CBD (23 admissions [0.104 per month] vs 15 admissions [0.055 per month], p = 0.007). Conclusion: Despite the lack of statistically significant difference in primary outcomes for the total cohort, CBD may have a potential for a clinically beneficial impact in real-world settings on those patients with prior seizure-related admissions, who are the highest utilizers of healthcare resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108538
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • CBD
  • Cannabidiol
  • Epidiolex
  • Epilepsy
  • Hospitalizations
  • Seizure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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