By / March 30, 2020

Colombian PROCAPS to develop a cannabis based drug to treat epilepsy

The Colombian pharmaceutical company PROCAPS developed a Cannabidiol-based drug (CBD) for the treatment of refractory epilepsy in patients with Dravet Syndrome and Lennox Gastaut Syndrome. This would be the first medication based on a cannabis derivative developed in the Latin American country.

PROCAPS is a Colombian based company, located in the city of Barranquilla, an important port district that connects the country with the Caribbean. The company specializes in the manufacturing and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. PROCAPS has a strategic location, in a city that serves as a distribution hub where a big number of export and import businesses take place every day.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a derivative of the cannabis plant, which is found in varying proportions depending on the strain. This component is not psychoactive and its use is intended for therapeutic purposes thanks to its multiple benefits as an anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, antioxidant, among others.

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Cannabidiol as an effective way to combat epilepsy

The Cannabidiol (CBD) of this innovative product has an anticonvulsant effect, reduces the crises in patients of 2 or more years of age, and most importantly, does not produce a psychoactive effect in patients. It should be noted that the use of Cannabidiol (CBD) in standardized and controlled formulations for the treatment of refractory or drug-resistant epilepsy in children and young people has guaranteed an anticonvulsant effect of up to 50%.

Also, Cannabidiol (CBD) should not be confused with THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol, a component that produces psychoactive effects such as altered perception. Although both are components of the cannabis plant, their effects are completely different and Cannabidiol (CBD) has been proven not to cause any secondary effects.

“PROCAPS has more than 40 years of experience and since its inception has focused its efforts on developing innovative medicines and services that meet the highest international standards. The company is offering differentiated solutions that contribute to improving the health of the communities with which we interact. With the launch of this new drug we want to tell Colombia, Latin America, and the world that the cannabis industry can be leveraged to help the well-being and quality of life of people suffering from different diseases,” said Yan Guzman, director of the PROCAPS pharmacy division.

The PROCAPS plant in Barranquilla is certified to export the drug and has an FDA certificate from the United States government agency that regulates food, medicine, and cosmetics.

A worldwide disease that can be treated using innovative methods

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 65 million people worldwide suffer from epilepsy, making it the most common chronic neurological disorder. Of this number, it is estimated that 70% of people with epilepsy could live without seizures if properly diagnosed and treated. In addition, it has been estimated that 80% of patients live in low- and middle-income countries.

Epilepsy is a chronic brain disease that leads to the development of recurrent seizures. These seizures are caused by abnormal electrical discharges that can cause alterations in a person’s movement, behavior, consciousness, and sensations. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in Colombia, there are 650,000 people, or 1.3% of the country’s population, who suffer from refractory epilepsy.


(Featured image by James Coleman on Unsplash)

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