Efficacy of a traditional herbal formula against drug-resistant childhood epilepsy

Nematollahi, Mohammad Hadi ; Mansourinejad, Seyed Ebrahim ; Ashrafzadeh, Farah ; Mehrabani, Mitra ; Akhondian, Javad ; Nazem, Esmaeil ; Saravani, Mohsen ; Mehrbani, Mehrzad


In about one-quarter of childhood epilepsies, there is no complete response to the routine, available antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). In traditional Persian medicine (TPM), Paeonia lactiflora and Anacyclus pyrethrum have been known for their anticonvulsant effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of a combined herbal formula consisting of the dried root of P. lactiflora and A. pyrethrum in childhood drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE). This single-arm before/after clinical trial was conducted on 46 children with DRE. The patients were observed for three months before as well as thirteen weeks after the administration of this traditional herbal preparation at a dose of 15 mg/kg/day. The frequency and duration of seizures were evaluated using the Hague seizure severity scale (HASS). There was a statistically significant reduction in both the frequency and duration of seizures after treatment with the herbal preparation (p-values were <0.001 and <0.05, respectively). A statistically significant response to the herbal formula started after eight weeks of treatment. The traditional formula of P. lactiflora and A. pyrethrum could be considered as a complementary medicine for treating childhood DRE. However, further studies are needed to provide more evidence of its benefits and possible harms and also determine the precise mechanisms of action of this formula as a medicinal remedy for epilepsy.


Anacyclus pyrethrum, Child, Drug-resistant epilepsy, Paeonia lactiflora, Traditional medicine

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