8-year-old daughter. Migraine preventives?

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    My 8 year old daughter gets migraines. Migraines run in my family. I have had them since very early childhood also, so I know some things to do for her to avoid getting them. But still, at such a young age, is there anything I could give her for a preventative? Also, is there something besides over the counter pain meds that she can take? Tylenol and ibuprofen do not always help with migraines. I hate giving her anything at such a young age, but she gets them weekly. Knowing what kind of pain she is going through kills me, and I end up giving her something to ease the pain. Help! April.

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    Dear April;


    When children have frequent or severe Migraines, doctors will often try to find an effective preventive medication for them. There are many options for prevention. Periactin, an antihistamine, is sometimes prescribed for children first since it's relatively innocuous.


    Talk with your daughter's doctor about what you can give her when she gets a Migraine. Sometimes, Benadryl along with ibuprofen works better than ibuprofen alone. Although none of the triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, etc.) are approved for children her age, some doctors will prescribe them anyway. Imitrex Nasal Spray comes in a lower dosage that is sometimes used, and Axert is now approved for adolescents aged 12 - 17.


    If her doctor isn’t able to help, it may well be time to consult a Migraine and headache specialist. It’s important to note that neurologists aren’t necessarily Migraine and headache specialists. Take a look at the article Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? If you need help finding a Migraine specialist, check our listing of Patient Recommended Migraine and Headache Specialists.


    While you're here, take a look at How Can I Help My Child with Migraines and Headaches?


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert



    To review other questions from our Ask the Clinician Column,
     browse the Ask the Clinician archives.


    If you need help finding a  Migraine and headache specialist,
     visit our listing of Patient Recommended Specialists.



    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    Last updated July 29, 2010.

Published On: July 27, 2010