An estimated 50 percent of adults who suffer from headaches or migraines say they began experiencing them before age 20. Treating a child with migraines is similar to treating an adult with migraines, except that doctors use much smaller doses of the same medications.
“Treatment depends on the frequency and intensity of the migraines,” says Sarah A. Aydt, MD, FAAP, FACP, pediatrician and internal medicine physician at Saint Francis Medical Center. “We start by asking the child and parent to keep a headache diary and record what causes the migraines. Common triggers include lack of sleep, diet, caffeine and stress. Then, we work on addressing those specific issues.”
Migraine medication for children falls into three categories: symptom relief, immediate therapy directed to interrupt and reverse the migraine and preventive medications. Parents should be selective when they give their children the drugs. “It is important to work with your doctor to find the right dose and frequency,” says Aydt.