Triptans (and more) for Children with Migraine

I think parents will appreciate a recent post from Dr. Alexander Mauskop regarding treatments for children.  Here is a summary of his suggestions:

  • Try wafer medications (that melt under the tongue) or nasal sprays.  Rizatriptan is approved in the USA for children, and Maxalt MLT is a “wafer” medication.  Imirex NS (sumatriptan) is a nasal spray approved in Europe, and Zomig NS is another available in the USA.
  • Some common triptans used for children include rizatriptan (in the USA approved for children as young as 6), almotriptan, sumatriptan, and zolmitriptan.
  • Rizatriptan will be available in generic form around the end of 2012.
  • Child migraine attacks tend to pass quicker than adult attacks.  This is another reason why faster acting medications are helpful (such as nasal sprays), but may also explain why some children tend to get over the attack quickly (in an hour or two) no matter what they take.
  • Triptans should not necessarily be the first choice for children with migraine.  Other options include ibuprofen and paracetamol/acetaminophen, lifestyle changes (regular sleep/meals/exercise), biofeedback, magnesium, CoQ10, etc.

For more tips for treatment of children with migraine, read Triptans for pediatric patients

Another reminder or two – just because a triptan hasn’t been “approved” for children in your country does not mean that it won’t be effective.  It just mean that the required studies haven’t been completed.  However, always talk to your doctor before giving your child a triptan medication (or any medication, for that matter) for migraine!

Also, don’t be surprised if your doctor isn’t quick to recommend a pill.  There are excellent, well proven non-drug treatments for children (some are mentioned above).

Read more about Pediatric Migraine Medication here.

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  • Jess Dec 3, 2012

    You have to be careful with wafer and nasal meds, because you can be really allergic to them. The Maxalt MLTs, for example, have something in the coating that amps up my migraine instead of helping!

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