Effectiveness of Topiramate in the Prevention of Childhood Headaches

Authors


Dr. Andrew D. Hershey, Headache Center, Division of Neurology, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039.

Abstract

Background.—Migraine is a significant problem for many children. Topiramate has been suggested to be effective for the prophylaxis of migraine in adults, but has not yet been examined in children. The drug has been demonstrated to be safe and effective for childhood seizure disorders. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of topiramate for the prevention of pediatric migraine.

Methods.—Children with frequent migraine were prescribed topiramate for headache prevention. Dosages, serum levels, and Serum Glutamic Oxalacetic Transaminase (SGOT) levels were monitored. Changes in frequency, severity, and duration of headaches were recorded and changes in headache-related disability using PedMIDAS also were measured.

Results.—Ninety-seven children were treated with topiramate, and 75 were reevaluated 88.7 ± 35.7 days later, 41 were seen at a second follow-up, and 17 were seen at a third follow-up evaluation. The daily dose reached at second evaluation was 84.0 ± 38.6 mg/day or 1.42 ± 0.74 mg/kg/day. This corresponded to a mean serum level of 2.8 ± 1.6 μg/mL. The mean headache frequency was reduced from 16.5 ± 10.0 to 11.6 ± 10.2 days per month (P<0.001) with a further reduction to 9.4 ± 8.4 days by the second follow-up (P<0.001). Severity and duration of headache also were reduced. Headache disability improved, with a reduction of Pediatric Migraine Disability Assessment score from 36.0 ± 42.3 to 20.8 ± 34.0 at the first follow-up (P<0.05), 19.1 ± 22.0 at the second follow-up (P<0.005), and 10.9 ± 16.9 at the third follow-up (P<0.001). Most patients tolerated topiramate well. The most common side effects reported were cognitive (12.5%), weight loss (5.6%), and sensory (2.8%).

Conclusions.—Topiramate is potentially an effective prophylactic medication for children with frequent migraine.

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