This article reviews the approach to a child or adolescent with headache, the criteria for common diagnoses, and the evidence base for treatments.
The guidelines for acute and preventive treatment of migraine were updated in 2019. These guidelines summarize the available evidence and outline the questions that should be addressed in future research. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of several new classes of drugs and devices to treat adult migraine in the past few years has resulted in ongoing or planned pediatric trials.
Headache is a common symptom in children, and it is important to take a detailed history and perform a thorough physical examination to make the diagnosis. Nearly 1 in 10 children experience recurrent headaches due to migraine, which cause significant impairment in school performance and quality of life. The acute and preventive treatments that are currently available will help at least two-thirds of children with migraine, and several trials of new therapies offer hope for the future.