Efficacy of zinc sulfate supplement on febrile seizure recurrence prevention in children with normal serum zinc level: A randomised clinical trial

Nutrition. 2015 Nov-Dec;31(11-12):1358-61. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2015.05.024. Epub 2015 Jul 6.


Objective: Serum zinc level might be related to pathogenesis of febrile seizure (FS). The purpose of this study was to evaluate efficacy and safety of oral zinc supplementation on FS recurrence prevention in non-zinc-deficient children.

Materials and methods: In a randomized clinical study, one hundred 18 to 60 mo old children with normal zinc level with first simple FS were referred to Shahid Sadoughi Hospital, Yazd, Iran from May 2012 to June 2013, were randomly assigned to two groups to receive 2 mg/kg/d zinc sulfate for six consecutive months or placebo as control group and were followed up for 1 y for FS recurrence.

Results: 41 girls and 59 boys with mean age of 2.47 ± 1.01 y were evaluated. Race, mean weight, height and body fat were similar in both groups. FS recurrence occurred in 19 children (38%) in the control group [95% confidence interval (CI): 19.45%-53.95%] and in 11 children (22%) in the zinc sulfate (95% CI: 57.47%-89.13%) groups, respectively; and the zinc group had lower FS recurrence (P = 0.03). The mean serum zinc level before intervention was lower in children with FS recurrence (72.43 ± 14.58 μg/dL versus 96.33 ± 12.69 μg/dL, P = 0.04). Gastrointestinal side effects (vomiting in five children, heartburn in two children and abdominal pain in one child) were seen in 16% of the zinc group and vomiting occurred in two children (4%) in control group and frequency of adverse events was similar in the two groups (P = 0.1).

Conclusion: Zinc supplementation should be considered as effective and safe in prevention of FS recurrence.

Keywords: Child; Febrile seizure; Febrile seizure recurrence; Prevention; Zinc sulfate.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dietary Supplements* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Heartburn / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Nutritional Status
  • Recurrence
  • Reference Values
  • Seizures, Febrile / prevention & control*
  • Trace Elements / adverse effects
  • Trace Elements / blood
  • Trace Elements / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vomiting / etiology
  • Zinc / adverse effects
  • Zinc / blood
  • Zinc / therapeutic use*
  • Zinc Sulfate / adverse effects
  • Zinc Sulfate / therapeutic use*


  • Trace Elements
  • Zinc Sulfate
  • Zinc