Migraine headaches, usually an inherited disorder, are common in children with frequency increasing in adolescence, according to researchers. The pain relievers ibuprofen and acetaminophen are safe and effective for treating migraine headaches in children and adolescents according to new guidelines published by the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society.
Researchers evaluated over 166 articles and abstracts on children ages 3 to 18 to determine the best treatment for migraines in these patients. Results showed acetaminophen and ibuprofen, both over-the-counter pain relievers, are safe and effective to use as a migraine treatment in children and adolescents. The nasal spray sumatriptan was found safe and effective for adolescents to use for migraines. However, the study showed insufficient evidence to recommend preventive treatments such as topiramate, amitriptyline, or divalproex sodium.
Thus researchers say they are confident that pharmacological headache treatments given to adults are also safe and effective for children.