Treatment of Children With Migraine in the Emergency Department: A Qualitative Systematic Review


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Abstract

Objective:To evaluate which treatment could be effective in the emergency department (ED) for children with migraine and status migrainosus, we carried out a qualitative systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated treatment that could be used for those conditions.Methods:Databases (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, MedLine, and EMBASE) were searched for RCTs that evaluated treatment of migraine in children (<18 years of age). Guidelines published on the subject were checked for missed references. Characteristics of the identified studies as well as primary outcome (headache relief), other recognized primary outcomes, and adverse events were abstracted. Quality of the RCTs was evaluated using the Jadad score.Results:Of the 14 trials included in the review, only 1 was performed in an ED after other treatments have failed. In that situation, prochlorperazine was more effective than ketorolac in relieving pain at 1 hour. Other treatments were evaluated by neurologists on their outpatients who started the studied drugs early at the beginning of the migraine without previous treatment. In that situation, ibuprofen (n = 3) and acetaminophen (n = 1) were better than placebo for pain relief. The efficacy of intranasal sumatriptan (n = 4), oral rizatriptan (n = 3), and oral zolmitriptan (n = 2) for pain relief was unclear. Oral sumatriptan (n = 1) and oral dihydroergotamine (n = 1) were not effective.Conclusions:There is a lack of studies addressing the question of treatment in the ED for children experiencing migraine. Although other treatments were found effective in children with migraine, none was evaluated in the ED except prochlorperazine and ketorolac.

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