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Medication Overuse Headache in School-Aged Children: More Common Than Expected?

Authors

  • Fausta Piazza MD,

    1. From the Child Neuropsychiatry Unit – IRCCS “National Institute of Neurology C. Mondino” Foundation, Pavia, Italy (F. Piazza and U. Balottin); Don Carlo Gnocchi ONLUS Foundation – Milan, Italy (M. Chiappedi); Child Neuropsichiatry, University of Pavia, Italy (F. Piazza, E. Maffioletti, and U. Balottin); Headache Science Centre of the IRCCS “National Institute of Neurology C. Mondino” Foundation, Pavia, Italy (F. Galli).
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  • Matteo Chiappedi MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. From the Child Neuropsychiatry Unit – IRCCS “National Institute of Neurology C. Mondino” Foundation, Pavia, Italy (F. Piazza and U. Balottin); Don Carlo Gnocchi ONLUS Foundation – Milan, Italy (M. Chiappedi); Child Neuropsichiatry, University of Pavia, Italy (F. Piazza, E. Maffioletti, and U. Balottin); Headache Science Centre of the IRCCS “National Institute of Neurology C. Mondino” Foundation, Pavia, Italy (F. Galli).
      M. Chiappedi, Don Carlo Gnocchi ONLUS Foundation, Child Neuropsychiatry, Viale Mangiagalli 52, Salice Terme – Godiasco, Pavia 27052, Italy, email: mchiappedi@gmail.com
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  • Erika Maffioletti MD,

    1. From the Child Neuropsychiatry Unit – IRCCS “National Institute of Neurology C. Mondino” Foundation, Pavia, Italy (F. Piazza and U. Balottin); Don Carlo Gnocchi ONLUS Foundation – Milan, Italy (M. Chiappedi); Child Neuropsichiatry, University of Pavia, Italy (F. Piazza, E. Maffioletti, and U. Balottin); Headache Science Centre of the IRCCS “National Institute of Neurology C. Mondino” Foundation, Pavia, Italy (F. Galli).
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  • Federica Galli PhD,

    1. From the Child Neuropsychiatry Unit – IRCCS “National Institute of Neurology C. Mondino” Foundation, Pavia, Italy (F. Piazza and U. Balottin); Don Carlo Gnocchi ONLUS Foundation – Milan, Italy (M. Chiappedi); Child Neuropsichiatry, University of Pavia, Italy (F. Piazza, E. Maffioletti, and U. Balottin); Headache Science Centre of the IRCCS “National Institute of Neurology C. Mondino” Foundation, Pavia, Italy (F. Galli).
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  • Umberto Balottin MD

    1. From the Child Neuropsychiatry Unit – IRCCS “National Institute of Neurology C. Mondino” Foundation, Pavia, Italy (F. Piazza and U. Balottin); Don Carlo Gnocchi ONLUS Foundation – Milan, Italy (M. Chiappedi); Child Neuropsichiatry, University of Pavia, Italy (F. Piazza, E. Maffioletti, and U. Balottin); Headache Science Centre of the IRCCS “National Institute of Neurology C. Mondino” Foundation, Pavia, Italy (F. Galli).
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  • Conflict of Interest: The authors report no conflict of interest.

M. Chiappedi, Don Carlo Gnocchi ONLUS Foundation, Child Neuropsychiatry, Viale Mangiagalli 52, Salice Terme – Godiasco, Pavia 27052, Italy, email: mchiappedi@gmail.com

Abstract

Objective.— To investigate the prevalence of medication overuse headache (MOH) in a group of children and adolescents seen for headache in a third-level center in Italy.

Background.— Epidemiological studies indicate a prevalence of MOH in children and adolescents between 0.3 and 0.5%; no data are available for the Italian population.

Methods.— We studied a group of first-seen children and adolescents (118 patients, 43.2% male and 56.8% female, mean age: 11.9 years). A detailed history was taken, using criteria defined by Olesen et al to assess the presence of MOH. Statistical correlations between demographic and diagnostic variables were assessed.

Results.— Eleven (9.3%) of our patients presented MOH; in the group with chronic daily headache, the prevalence raised to 20.8%. At follow up, after introduction of a more rationale treatment, most patients improved, but 2 of them reported a worsening of their headache.

Conclusions.— We believe that a strong warning regarding medication overuse in headache therapy is essential for pediatricians and neuropsychiatrists.

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