Clonidine Prophylaxis of Childhood Migraine and Other Vascular Headache

A Double Blind Study of 57 Children


  • Dr. Matti Sillanpää M.D.

    1. The Department of Paediatrics, University of Turku, Turku, and
    2. The Department of Paediatrics, Central Hospital of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.
    Search for more papers by this author


SYNOPSISFifty-seven children, ages 0–15 years, with migraine or other vascular headaches were treated with clonidine (28) and placebo (29). A double-blind technique without crossover was used for two months. The mean daily dose was 1.2 mgkg body weight during the first month, and 2.1 mgkg during the second month. Mean total follow-up period was 7.9 months. Headaches were completely abolished during treatment in one-third of patients in both placebo and clonidine groups. Fifty-seven percent of children on clonidine and 42 percent of those on placebo were greatly improved. This difference is not statistically significant. Cases with visual aura or positive family history for migraine or both, responded statistically better to clonidine than to placebo. Improved response was noted with increased dose of clonidine. Two patients had side effects which interfered with daily activities and one discontinued treatment because of nausea and vomiting.