Cannabis and other illicit drug use in epilepsy patients
Article first published online: 11 JAN 2013
© 2013 The Author(s) European Journal of Neurology © 2013 EFNS
European Journal of Neurology
How to Cite
Hamerle, M., Ghaeni, L., Kowski, A., Weissinger, F. and Holtkamp, M. (2013), Cannabis and other illicit drug use in epilepsy patients. European Journal of Neurology. doi: 10.1111/ene.12081
- Article first published online: 11 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Received: 10 SEP 2012
- epileptic seizures;
- illicit drugs;
Background and purpose
This study aimed to assess the prevalence of illicit drug use among epilepsy patients and its effects on the disease.
We systematically interviewed epilepsy outpatients at a tertiary epilepsy clinic. Predictors for active cannabis use were analysed with a logistic regression model.
Overall, 310 subjects were enrolled; 63 (20.3%) reported consuming cannabis after epilepsy was diagnosed, and 16 (5.2%) used other illicit drugs. Active cannabis use was predicted by sex (male) [odds ratio (OR) 5.342, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.416–20.153] and age (OR 0.956, 95% CI 0.919–0.994). Cannabis consumption mostly did not affect epilepsy (84.1%). Seizure worsening was observed with frequent illicit (non-cannabis) drug use in 80% of cases.
Cannabis use does not seem to affect epilepsy; however, frequent use of other drugs increases seizure risk.