Monday, September 17, 2012

Children & Migraines: Treatment Medications

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While it may appear there are few, if any, good migraine treatments available for children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with migraine, the options are getting better all the time. Contrary to popular belief, there are two migraine-specific medications available for kids.

Two medications in the triptan category (used by adults) are also FDA approved for kids & teens. Unfortunately some doctors aren't as up to date about which ones are FDA approved as they could be.

- Maxalt (generic name Rizatriptan) is aproved for ages 12+.
- Axert (generic name Alotriptan) is approved for ages 6+.

Important things to know:
  • These medications can end the migraine attack instead of just treating the symptoms the way things like Tylenol do.
  • These medication work best when you take them as soon as you realize an attack is coming. This can be difficult to achieve when your child is the migraine patient. Talking about the symptoms your child experiences when he/she is not experiencing a migraine and reinforcing the idea of telling you ASAP when he/she notices one of those symptoms can help.
  • They're available by prescription only.
  • Please talk to your child's doctor and your pharmacist about appropriate dosing for your child. The right dose depends on your child's weight.
  • Axert and Maxalt both have coupons available on their website for new customers: 
There are also many good alternative therapies that can safely treat a child's migraine attacks or help a child cope with them. I will discuss these in depth in a separate post, but in the meantime this article is a great place to start:  

1. Katz, Russell, MD. Department of Health and Human Services. "Supplemental Approval letter to Merck Research Laboratories." FDA: Division of Neurology Products, Office of Drug Evaluation I, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. December 16, 2011.
2. Press Release. "Almotriptan (Axert®/Almogran®) approved by the FDA for the treatment of migraine in adolescents." Barcelona. Almirall. June 3, 2009.

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.