There is a serious lack of controlled studies on the pharmacological treatment of primary migraine in the developmental age; there is, consequently, an urgent need for new, evidence-based approaches to this long-neglected field of research. Moreover, previous studies have stated that the placebo response is greater in pediatric patients than in adults and that a reduction in the attack frequency in the absence of any pharmacological treatment is observed more frequently in pediatric migraine patients than in adults. Besides these preliminary considerations, the shorter duration of migraine attacks and other characteristic semeiological features of the clinical picture in children are such that the design of randomized controlled trial (RCT) is more problematic in the developmental age than in the adult. Bearing in mind all these weak points, the aim of this review was to summarize and update recent guidelines for the treatment of primary migraine in children and adolescents. The most recent guidelines are those published by the Italian Society for the study of Headache, the French Society for the study of Migraine and Headache, and the American Academy of Neurology. We have incorporated into these guidelines the results from the few, recent RCTs, clinical controlled trials, open-label studies, meta-analyses and reviews that have been published since 2004; owing to the lack of strong evidence in this field of research, we have sometimes even mentioned pilot non-controlled studies, case series and expert opinions. Lastly, evidence was classified and the recommendations were categorized according to different levels.
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