New Migraine Guidelines for Children Released

Ibuprofen, acetaminophen safe for treating pain in kids, teens

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MONDAY, Dec. 27, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Both acetaminophen and ibuprofen are safe and effective for treating migraines in children and adolescents, says a new practice guideline issued by the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society.

"As pediatric neurologists, we are confident that the most common pharmacological headache treatments given to adults are also safe and effective for children," study author Dr. Donald W. Lewis, of Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Norfolk, Va., said in a prepared statement.

He and his colleagues examined the results of more than 166 articles and abstracts dealing with migraine treatments for children aged 3 to 18.

In addition to their conclusions about ibuprofen and acetaminophen, the researchers found that sumatriptan nasal spray was a safe and effective migraine treatment for adolescents. However, none of the oral triptan drugs were effective in treating migraines in children and adolescents.

The authors concluded there wasn't enough evidence to make recommendations about the use of migraine preventive drugs such as cyproheptadine, amitriptyline, divalproex sodium, topiramate or levetiracetam.

They found conflicting outcomes regarding the use of trazodone or propranalol for prevention of migraine and made no recommendations on use in children or adolescents.

The guidelines appear in the Dec. 28 issue of Neurology.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about migraines in children and adolescents.

SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology, news release, Dec. 27, 2004

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