Factors Influencing Response to Pharmacologic Treatment of Migraine in a Pediatric Headache Clinic

Tal Eidlitz Markus*, Bder Moad, Yishai Haimi-Cohen, Avraham Zeharia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The responses of different patients to the same drug may vary as a consequence of biologic, psychosocial, and genetic differences. The aim of this study was to identify clinical factors associated with a response to pharmacologic treatment in pediatric patients with migraine. Methods: The medical files of patients with migraine attending the headache clinic of a tertiary pediatric medical center in 2010-2015 were reviewed. The children and parents (or only the parents if the child was very young) completed the International Headache Society-based questionnaire. Patients were treated with at least one of the following medications: propranolol, amitriptyline, topiramate. Response to treatment was rated as no change in migraine pattern (grade 1) or a decrease in migraine attack frequency per month by at least 50% (grade 2) or at least 75% (grade 3). The highest-grade response to any pharmacologic treatment was defined as the best clinical response. Results: The study group included 248 patients of mean age 12.71 ± 3.04 years. A grade 3 best clinical response was significantly associated with a positive maternal history of migraine, younger age at treatment onset, lower frequency of headache attacks per month, postpubertal children had a significantly lower rate of grade 3 response than prepubertal children (P <.05). Analysis of the association of overuse of medication and treatment response achieved a P value equal to.05. Conclusions: Several background and clinical factors are identified that may predispose children with migraine to respond better to pharmacologic treatment. Clinicians who see children with migraine in a pediatric headache clinic setting should consider these factors before initiating a treatment program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1120-1131
Number of pages12
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • age at treatment
  • chronic migraine
  • episodic migraine
  • headache frequency per month
  • response to headache medication


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