How are migraine and tension-type pediatric headaches treated?

Updated: Jan 02, 2019
  • Author: J Ivan Lopez, MD, FAAN, FAHS; Chief Editor: George I Jallo, MD  more...
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Answer

Triptans may be helpful in the treatment of these headaches, especially if the onset of headache has been recent. Narcotic and nonnarcotic analgesics, sedatives, and antiemetics are helpful adjunctive therapy, but an effort should be made to avoid excessive use of medications, particularly narcotics.

Sleep, darkness, and a quiet room are essential in managing acute migraine and tension-type headache. [44] In addition, encourage scheduled times for meals, bedtime, relaxation, and exercise. Individual treatment decisions should be based on the age of the child and receptiveness to behavioral techniques. Behavioral techniques can be highly effective for migraine and tension-type headaches. More focus is also being directed toward the use of complementary/alternative therapies such as acupuncture.

Acute tension headaches often respond to symptomatic treatments. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are recommended to relieve headache pain. Avoid narcotics and other potentially addictive medications.

Eliminate identified precipitants; for example, alcohol, drugs, or caffeine may trigger headaches. Encourage appropriate lifestyle changes.


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