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These children may experience more frequent and severe migraines or they may have chronic daily headache (CDH).In adults, CDH is often linked to overuse of pain relievers, but this is much less common in adolescents.For this reason, it is often possible to control headache in adolescents with abortive medication -those that stop an attack in progress- as opposed to preventive drugs that are taken daily.Recently completed studies have shown that Sumatriptan (Imitrex) can provide excellent headache relief for adolescents (age 12 and up) with migraine, Injectable Sumatripan is preferable for adolescents who develop a severe migraine very rapidly.How many days missed from school can help determine the frequency, severity, and disability.The incidence (the rate of onset of new cases) of migraine with aura in males is 6.6/1000 and peaks at 5 to 6 years of age.Their main disadvantage is shorter duration of action, about 2-4 hours compared to 8-12 hours for the prescription drugs.
Moderated-to-mild headaches can be relieved with nonsteroidals anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs, such as naproxen (Anaprox DS).
Migraine in children as in adults, is a public health problem with an impact both to the sufferer as well as to society.
Twenty percent of adults report the onset of migraine symptoms prior to the age of 10 and 46% before the age of twenty.
If there are no contraindications, many of drugs used for headache prevention in adults, such as beta blockers, tricylic antidepressants, and calcium channel blockers, can be used in adolescents. Young adolescents my develop signs of depression as a side effect of beta blockers, and it can go unnoticed unless the parents are observing the child for subtle changes in behavior.
Tricylic antidepressants are generally safe and effective, but it is necessary to monitor for any signs of cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), which is a possible side effect.