Advanced practice nurses treat many patients, including children and adolescents, with migraine headaches. Management of headache episodes requires a delicate balance of prophylactic and abortive therapies. Sumatriptan has been used effectively to treat adult patients with migraine headaches, but its efficacy in children has not been established. Results of a literature review provide strong evidence supporting the use of sumatriptan in treating adults with migraine headaches. Some evidence also exists for using sumatriptan to treat migraines in pediatric patients. Open prospective studies used small convenience samples, thus limiting the external validity of the research findings. Two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trials found conflicting results for the efficacy of sumatriptan in the treatment of pediatric migraine. Further research is needed to determine its efficacy in children.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to: Allison McAlhany, MSN ARNP, College of Nursing, University of Florida, 1600 SW Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32610. She is a clinical assistant professor.
© 2001 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses