Pediatric headache

Med Clin North Am. 2001 Jul;85(4):1037-53. doi: 10.1016/s0025-7125(05)70358-8.


Headaches are frequent in children and adolescents and at times can be extremely disabling. Disability scales, such as the MIDAS scale, have been useful in helping follow adult patients. Modifications of this scale have been helpful in following pediatric and adolescent patients. Greater attention has been paid to epidemiology and classification of headache in children. Studies are being done on serotonin 1B/1D agonist for treating acute migraine, and this agent has been found to be efficacious despite a high placebo response. It is anticipated that FDA approval of sumatriptan nasal spray in adolescents is forthcoming. Despite advancements, there is no wonder drug. There continues to be a need for studying preventive therapies in a double-blind, placebo-controlled environment, and plans are under way for such studies. Many adult patients with chronic daily headaches report that their headaches began in childhood and adolescence. A better understanding of diagnostic criteria, early diagnosis, and more effective treatment may be the key to influencing the prevalence of headaches in adults. Continued research is the only answer to the questions raised by the most recent studies in this population.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics / adverse effects
  • Central Nervous System Agents / administration & dosage
  • Central Nervous System Agents / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Headache / drug therapy
  • Headache / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy
  • Migraine Disorders / etiology
  • Risk Factors


  • Analgesics
  • Central Nervous System Agents