Migraines Affect Children, Too

January 6, 2012

Sadly, even a very young child can suffer from chronic headache. In fact, five to 10 percent of children — some too young to even speak — experience migraines. Most children experience abdominal migraines that cause stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.

Unfortunately, unlike adults, children cannot take most prescription medications for their chronic headache.  Of the abortive triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, etc.) and ergotamines (DHE 45 and migraine nasal spray), only one is approved by the FDA for adolescents. Not one is approved for children younger than 12 years old.

Helping a child overcome a migraine drug free can be difficult, too.  Parents and teachers can help children by encouraging preventive treatment, including diet and avoidance of triggers.  When a migraine attack occurs, adults can help a child fight the migraine drug free by minimizing irritants such as lights and sound.  Some manufacturers also promote cold gel packs that stick to the forehead, as a way to help treat chronic headache pain.  Other manufacturers also have a “migraine cap” that helps to block out noise and lights.

If chronic headache pain is interrupting the child’s school and social activities on a regular basis, he or she may need to evaluate a medical procedure such as an implanted neurostimulator to stop the pain of chronic migraine drug free.  Adolescents who have had the procedure, as young as 12 years old, have been able to continue studies and a full range of sports without being limited by the chronic headache pain.

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