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The pharmacological treatment options for pediatric migraine: an evidence-based appraisal.

The treatment of children and adolescents who suffer from migraine headaches must be individually tailored, flexible, and balanced with a blend of bio-behavioral measures, agents for acute treatment and, if needed, daily preventive medicines. While controlled data is limited, there is now enough evidence available to provide a rational framework to build treatment plans appropriate for the pediatric population. Essentially, the pharmacological management of pediatric migraine divides into agents for the acute attacks and agents used daily to prevent or reduce the frequency of attacks. For the acute treatment, the most rigorously studied agents are ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and the nasal spray forms of sumatriptan and zolmitriptan, all of which have shown both safety and efficacy in controlled trials. For preventive treatment the calcium channel blocker flunarezine has the best efficacy profile in controlled trials, but is not available in the U.S. A growing body of data, mostly uncontrolled, is emerging regarding the use of several anti-epileptic agents (e.g. topiramate, disodium valproate, levateracetam), as well as the antihistamine cyproheptadine and the anti-depressant amitriptyline.

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