Use of Integrative, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine in Children with Epilepsy: A Global Scoping Review

Zahra Zhu, Daniela Dluzynski, Nouran Hammad, Deepika Pugalenthi, Sarah A. Walser, Rea Mittal, Debopam Samanta, Melanie L. Brown, Ali A. Asadi-Pooya, Angelina Kakooza-Mwesige, Alberto Spalice, Martina Capponi, Alain Lekoubou, Ashutosh Kumar, Sita Paudel, Paul R. Carney, Gayatra Mainali, Sunil Naik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


(1) Background: Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurological disorders in childhood. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is highly prevalent in patients with epilepsy. Despite CAM’s widespread and increasing popularity, its prevalence, forms, perceived benefits, and potential risks in pediatric epilepsy are rarely explored. (2) Methods: We performed a scoping review of the available literature on the use of CAM in pediatric epilepsy. (3) Results: Overall, global cross-sectional studies showed a variable degree of CAM usage among children with epilepsy, ranging from 13 to 44% in prevalence. Popular types of CAMs reported were supplements, cannabis products, aromatherapy, herbal remedies, dietary therapy, massage therapy, and prayer. Families often report that CAM is effective, although there are limited objective measures of this. Potential risks lie in the use of CAM, such as herbal remedies, and/or unregulated, contaminated, or unpurified products. Studies also underscored inadequate patient–physician discussions regarding CAM. (4) Conclusions: A better understanding of this topic would aid clinicians in guiding patients/families on the use of CAM. Further studies on the efficacy of the different types of CAM used, as well as potential side effects and drug interactions are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number713
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of Integrative, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine in Children with Epilepsy: A Global Scoping Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this