Objectives: The study objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of homeopathic medicines for the prevention and treatment of migraine in children.
Design: This was an observational, prospective, open, nonrandomized, noncomparative, multicenter study.
Setting/location: The study was conducted in 12 countries worldwide.
Subjects: Fifty-nine (59) physicians trained in the prescription of homeopathic medicines and 168 children, aged 5-15 years, with definite or probable migraine diagnosed using International Headache Society 2004 criteria were the subjects in this study.
Interventions: Physicians were given complete freedom in terms of treatment prescription; thus, prescriptions were individualized for each patient.
Outcome measures: The frequency, intensity, and duration of migraine attacks in the 3 months prior to inclusion were compared with those during the 3-month follow-up period. Pertinent data were collected using questionnaires completed by the doctor and the patient or his/her parent/guardian. The secondary outcome measure was the impact of homeopathic medicines on education, measured as absence from school.
Results: The frequency, severity, and duration of migraine attacks decreased significantly during the 3-month follow-up period (all p<0.001). Preventive treatment during this time consisted of homeopathic medicines in 98% of cases (mean=2.6 medicines/patient). Children spent significantly less time off school during follow-up than before inclusion (2.0 versus 5.5 days, respectively; p<0.001). The most common preventive medicines used were Ignatia amara (25%; mainly 9C), Lycopodium clavatum (22%), Natrum muriaticum (21%), Gelsemium (20%), and Pulsatilla (12%; mainly 15C). Homeopathy alone was used for the treatment of migraine attacks in 38% of cases. The most commonly used medicines were Belladonna (32%; mainly 9C), Ignatia amara (11%; mainly 15C), Iris versicolor (10%; mainly 9C), Kalium phosphoricum (10%; mainly 9C), and Gelsemium (9%; mainly 15C and 30C).
Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate the interest of homeopathic medicines for the prevention and treatment of migraine attacks in children. A significant decrease in the frequency, severity, and duration of migraine attacks was observed and, consequently, reduced absenteeism from school.