The team suggested that study design changes might help clarify matters, perhaps by distinguishing between children who have short-lasting migraines and those with longer bouts, or between those who respond quickly to placebo and those who don't.
"These studies clearly demonstrate why we cannot assume what works in adults will work in kids and why children need their own studies," noted Rodriguez.
And while "drug therapy appears to be effective in a certain subset of children with migraine," Rodriguez stressed that "many" children may not need any drug in order for a migraine to dissipate within a couple of hours.
Dr. Jennifer Bickel, a neurologist and board-certified headache specialist with Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo., said these studies highlight a "major lack of research" in pediatric headache.
"There's not a single FDA-approved medicine specifically for the prevention of headaches in children or teens," she said. "Every medication we use to prevent headaches in children originally received approval for another indication.
"So these findings are not actually surprising," added Bickel. "It just means we need more research."
For more on migraines in kids, visit the Nemours Foundation.
SOURCES: William Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D., pediatrician, Office of Pediatric Therapeutics, Office of Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Md.; Jeffrey L. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine, department of medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wis.; Jennifer Bickel, M.D., neurolo
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