TUESDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- A two-drug combination that relieves migraines in adults also works well in adolescents, new research indicates.
Although the findings basically support what doctors are already doing, "it is nice to have this officially shown in a study in adolescents," said Dr. Ellen Drexler, associate director of neurology at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City.
Because the combination of Imitrex (sumatriptan) and naproxen sodium (Aleve and other brand names) isn't approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this age group, doctors must prescribe it "off label" to adolescents.
"There are no FDA-approved abortive [migraine] treatments for children," said Dr. Noah Rosen, director of the Headache Center at the Cushing Neuroscience Institute in Great Neck, N.Y. "This is the first really large-scale abortive treatment study for adolescents."
The study, funded and carried out by researchers at GlaxoSmithKline, which makes the sumatriptan/naproxen combined tablet, known as Treximet, appears in the May 14 issue of Pediatrics.
Migraines in children and adolescents are physiologically no different from migraines in adults, said Drexler, although migraines in younger people tend not to last as long.
Although treatments are similar to those used in adults, not many trials have formally tested their effectiveness in children and adolescents.
The class of drugs known as triptans are the most studied, but none of those trials have shown a great benefit, possibly because of a large placebo response, the study authors wrote.
Some 8 percent to 23 percent of children aged 11 and older experience migraines, the researchers stated.
For this study, the authors randomly assigned almost 600 teens and preteens -- 12 to 17 years old -- to either a placebo or one of three doses of the sumatriptan/naproxen combi
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