Demographic and Migraine Characteristics of Adolescents With Migraine: Glaxo Wellcome Clinical Trials' Database


  • Presented, in part, at the American Headache Society Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada, June 23-25, 2000 and the Headache 2000 Meeting, London, United Kingdom, September 3-7, 2000.

Address all correspondence to Paul Winner, DO, Palm Beach Headache Center, Suite 200, 5205 Greenwood Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33407.


Objective.—To describe the demographics and migraine characteristics of patients in the Glaxo Wellcome adolescent clinical trials' database.

Methods.—Data from 8 sumatriptan (tablet and nasal spray) and naratriptan (tablet) trials (6 placebo controlled and 2 open label) were reviewed. Adolescents aged 12 to 17 years who had participated in migraine clinical trials and used at least 1 dose of study medication were summarized using descriptive statistics. Patient demographic (gender, age, race, height, and weight) and migraine (diagnosis, pain location and intensity, time and day of migraine onset and treatment, and associated symptoms) characteristics were examined.

Results.—One thousand nine hundred thirty-two adolescents with migraine were identified; mean age was 14.1 years (standard deviation, 1.64; range, 11 to 18) and 54% of patients were female. More males were represented in the 12- to 14-year-old group (646 [73%] of 885) than in the 15- to 17-year-old group (234 [26%] of 885). Most patients reported migraine without aura (67%, 1121 of 1672), unilateral migraine pain (58%, 458 of 787), and pulsating pain (74%, 582 of 790). Migraine was aggravated by physical activity in most of the adolescents (88%, 526 of 598). Most migraine attacks (73%, 1363 of 1858) began between 6 am and 6 pm, and proportionately more attacks occurred Monday through Wednesday. Pretreatment vomiting was experienced by 5% (97 of 1830) of patients, nausea by 53% (983 of 1849), and photophobia or phonophobia (or both) by 88% (1628 of 1858) of patients. The incidence of associated symptoms was directly related to pretreatment headache severity.

Conclusions.—In this large clinical trials' database, adolescents had migraine without aura characterized by unilateral and pulsating pain and aggravated by activity. The incidence of associated symptoms was directly related to pretreatment pain intensity. More migraines occurred Monday through Wednesday during typical school hours. These data may facilitate clinicians' efforts to tailor migraine therapy to the needs of this patient population.