Medicines to prevent or treat migraines in adults are not effective in stopping the headaches in children, according to two studies that suggest doctors may want to re-evaluate the use of the drugs in pediatric patients.
Two new broad reviews of pediatric migraine research point to a troubling conclusion: There is no clear evidence that drugs currently used to treat and prevent headaches among adults do anything much to help similarly afflicted children (adult efficacy rate is about 35%).
The finding stems from a pediatric migraine-treatment investigation conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a pediatric migraine-prevention study out of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. The results of both analyses are published online Jan. 28 in JAMA Pediatrics.
In the first study from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, the researchers analyzed 21 trials of migraine medicines that included children and adolescents. Of those, 13 included a group that received a placebo rather than study drug.
They found that Topamax and trazodone reduced episodic migraines less than one headache a month when compared to placebo, while clonidine, for high blood pressure; flunarizine, a calcium channel blocker; pizotifen, a migraine drug; propranolol, for high blood pressure; and valproate, an anticonvulsant, were no more effective than placebo.
These were not new trials; rather the studies used existing data from drug trials, including those conducted by the maker of Topamax and other drugs. The report showed that the trials had revealed there was "limited evidence" to support use of Topamax in children's migraines and it fared no better than a placebo. The shame is that this has been known and available to doctors for many years and yet Topamax has continued to be prescribed by doctors for young people - and done so in spite of warnings and known adverse side effects published by the FDA.
Also disturbing is that "these medicines are kind of nasty," said Jeffrey Jackson, a study author and professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. "Some cause dry mouth, or fatigue, or problems with concentrating. They're not really medicines you would want your vibrant teen to be on if they're not working." Read more about Topamax for migraines.
"There's not a single FDA-approved medicine specifically for the prevention of headaches in children or teens," said Dr. Jennifer Bickel, a neurologist and board-certified headache specialist with Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo.
"What has proven to as effective for children and teens as it has been for adults is the natural migraine prevention formula, Tuliv Migraine Defense," adds Lyle Henry, Tuliv MD Research Director. "We have many cases where children who were no longer able to attend school due to the severity of their migraine condition have been able to return to school and participate fully, including extracurricular activities, after being on Tuliv Migraine Defense."
Tuliv Migraine Defense is the leading non-prescription treatment for the prevention of migraines. To learn more about migraine prevention with Tuliv Migraine Defense, see http://www.tuliv.com
Contact Tuliv if you have questions or would like to visit more about children with migraines. Please email us at Questions@Tuliv.net or call 1-866-367-5953.