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.