Medication overuse headache in school-aged children: More common than expected?

Fausta Piazza, Matteo Chiappedi, Erika Maffioletti, Federica Galli, Umberto Balottin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective.-To investigate the prevalence of medication overuse headache (MOH) in a group of children and adolescents seen for headache in a third-level center in Italy. Background.-Epidemiological studies indicate a prevalence of MOH in children and adolescents between 0.3 and 0.5%; no data are available for the Italian population. Methods.-We studied a group of first-seen children and adolescents (118 patients, 43.2% male and 56.8% female, mean age: 11.9 years). A detailed history was taken, using criteria defined by Olesen et al to assess the presence of MOH. Statistical correlations between demographic and diagnostic variables were assessed. Results.-Eleven (9.3%) of our patients presented MOH; in the group with chronic daily headache, the prevalence raised to 20.8%. At follow up, after introduction of a more rationale treatment, most patients improved, but 2 of them reported a worsening of their headache. Conclusions.-We believe that a strong warning regarding medication overuse in headache therapy is essential for pediatricians and neuropsychiatrists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1506-1510
Number of pages5
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • adolescence
  • child
  • chronic daily headache
  • medication overuse headache
  • prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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