Febrile Seizure Treatment Options for Children

Febrile seizures are the most common type of seizures seen in children, 2-5% of children have a febrile seizure during their childhood. (Christopher, Westermeyer, 2017). Standard western treatment includes fever reducing drugs, antibiotics and anti-epileptic drugs but Eastern Medicine is proving to be a viable and useful option for treatment.

Febrile seizures occur when a children contacts and illness such as an infection, cold or rash accompanied by fever. “Since febrile seizures rarely occur after 5-6 years of age, there is a relationship between febrile seizures and brain maturation.” (Tolaymet, Nayak, Geyer, Geyer, Carney, 2015, pg. 6). Eastern Medicine looks at the effects that seizures have on the energy of the liver and kidney. It is kidney essence that is affected, and it is this same kidney energy which governs the brain maturation and overall function.

The risk factors for febrile seizures are identified as family history of febrile seizures, developmental delay, children who have spent more than 28 days in neonatal intensive care and if febrile seizure have occurred in the past.
Eastern Medicine has been treating febrile seizures for thousands of years with both acupuncture and herbs. With the trend towards Eastern Medicine being used in hospitals and clinics around the nation it has become more important to educate allopathic physicians to the use of Eastern Medicine to treat Febrile Seizures. “Analyses of selected studies indicate that the TCM treatment groups have significantly higher cure rate for febrile seizure than first aid or western medicine group.” (Lee, Lee, Lee, Chang, 2016. Pg. 1). Eastern Medicine has a role to play in treatment of this disease process. The studies included in current research analysis on Eastern Medicine look at both acupuncture and herbology.

The well-known book, Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion (CAM), sets forth two protocols that can be used during and after seizures activity. Eastern Theory describes the action of the body during an active seizure as one where the liver wind stirs up the phlegm to disturb the mind. The points listed below should be used with a reducing method to help address the disease process. The points GV26 (Shuigou) and CV15 ( Jiuwei) are used to induce resuscitation. To calm the heart, ease the mind, dissolve the phlegm and dispel wind, CAM prescribes PC6, Jianshi, ST40 Fenglong and LV3 Taicong.

After a seizure, the disease process changes to one where the vital qi is being damaged causing insufficiency of blood, depression of spleen yang and deficiency of kidney essence. The points prescribed to address these issues are BL15 Xinshu, Yintang and HT7 Shenmen to nourish the heart and ease the mind. To strengthen the spleen and reinforce the kidney, CAM recommends, SP6 Sanyinjiao and KD3 Taixi. Additional points are prescribed for the time of day the seizures occur and if there is stagnation and/or deficiency present.

In the future I believe we will be seeing more acupuncture in the treatment of seizures, especially in pediatric medicine.