Melatonin effect on seizures in children with severe neurologic deficit disorders

Nir Peled, Zamir Shorer, Eli Peled, Giora Pillar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


Purpose: Recently, melatonin has been associated with antiepileptic activity, most probably because of its antioxidant activity as a free radical scavenger. This study aimed to expand the clinical experience with melatonin as an antiepileptic drug (AED) in humans. Methods: Six children (aged 2-15 years), with severe intractable seizures, were treated with 3 mg of oral melatonin 30 min before bedtime, in addition to their previous AED treatment for 3 months. A diary of clinical seizure activity (time of day, duration, and type) was kept by parents for a month before and during treatment. Five patients underwent a baseline polysomnography, and three also were monitored during melatonin treatment. Results: With the exception of the parents of one child, all reported a significant clinical improvement in seizure activity during treatment, particularly during the night. Sleep studies showed a decrease in epileptic activity in two of the three patients who were monitored during treatment, and a change of sleep efficiency from 84.2% to 89.7% (NS). Improvement in daytime behavior and in communication abilities was reported by parents, although it was not objectively measured. Conclusions: This clinical observation adds to the growing data showing the antiepileptic effect of melatonin. However, owing to the paucity of well-controlled studies, using melatonin as an AED should be limited to this specific group of patients with intractable seizures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1208-1210
Number of pages3
Issue number9
StatePublished - 20 Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Convulsions
  • Epilepsy
  • Free radicals
  • Melatonin
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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