MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For the first time in history the FDA has certified a marijuana-based medication, and it may change the lives of many children suffering from a rare form of epilepsy.
Just turned 11, Maya Adache has a new lease on life.
As an infant, Maya developed severe epileptic seizures.
“She was having seizures probably anywhere from 10 to 14, 15 times a day,” said Adam Adache, Maya’s father.
Maya’s mom and dad feared her seizures were so convulsive, so lengthy, that they might prove fatal.
“We were very stressed out,” said Maya’s mother Monica. “We tried everything and we were here multiple, multiple times, and we tried all kinds of medications for years.”
18 months ago, Maya entered and FDA approved clinical trial for Epidiolex, an experimental marijuana-based epilepsy medication.
Her parents had considered medical marijuana for Maya, if they could find a doctor to prescribe it, but chose the experimental, pot-based drug trial over an agricultural product.
“Something that is grown on a farm, and somebody to still be oil, or you don’t know what percentage of what it has in it,” said Monica.
So they went with the experimental pot-based Epidiolex, and bingo.
“We stopped noticing the seizures almost immediately,” said Adam.
Maya’s rare form of epilepsy was controlled, a form no other medication has been effective for treating.
“She has responded incredibly well,” said Dr. Ian Miller. “As close to a miracle response as you can have to and epilepsy medication.”
And not only have Maya’s seizures subsided, she has adopted a positive attitude.
“From the standpoint that her mood has really changed, she’s a much happier person,” Adam said. “So when she’s happy, we are happy.”
Maya says her favorite past time is ice skating. She aspires to be Olympic skater some day.
While Maya has benefited from the clinical trial she was in, the FDA gave formal approval to the marijuana-based drug just two months ago.
It will now be available to many other children that it might help.