Placebo often effective for treating headache in children

Placebo often effective for treating headache in children
Placebo is often effective in treating children with headaches, and innovative strategies are needed to reduce the placebo response rate and prove drug effects in trials, according to two studies published online Jan. 28 in JAMA Pediatrics.

(HealthDay)—Placebo is often effective in treating children with headaches, and innovative strategies are needed to reduce the placebo response rate and prove drug effects in trials, according to two studies published online Jan. 28 in JAMA Pediatrics.

In the first study, Khalil El-Chammas, M.D., from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of 21 assessing prophylactic headache treatment to reduce the frequency or severity of headaches in children and adolescents. The researchers found that placebos were effective, while drugs, including topiramate and trazodone, showed some efficacy for episodic migraines. Other commonly used drugs were no more effective than placebo.

In the second study, Haihao Sun, M.D., Ph.D., from the U.S. in Silver Spring, Md., and colleagues performed a systematic review and analysis of pediatric trial data submitted to the FDA on triptans, already approved for adults but which had failed to show efficacy for treatment of abortive migraines in children. The researchers observed a high placebo response, with at two hours ranging from 53.0 to 57.5 percent, which could be reduced by non-randomization of patients with an early placebo response.

"Innovative trial designs intended to reduce the rate may be necessary to demonstrate a drug effect," Sun and colleagues write.

More information: Abstract - El-Chammas
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Abstract - Sun
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

No proof drugs ease kids' migraines, study says

date Jan 28, 2013

(HealthDay)—Children and teens who get migraine headaches suffer in multiple ways, missing school and fun time with friends while waiting for the debilitating pain to subside.

Greater response to placebo in children than in adults

date Aug 12, 2008

In a systematic review of antiepileptic drugs, Philippe Ryvlin (of the Hospices Civils de Lyon, France) and colleagues show that children with drug-resistant partial epilepsy enrolled in trials seem to have a greater response ...

Recommended for you

AAP: Updated guidelines on newborn hospital release

date 8 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has just released updated guidelines for judging whether or not a newborn is ready for hospital discharge. The guidelines are published online April ...

HPV vaccine should not be delayed

date 11 hours ago

New research out of Queen's University shows early benefits from the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in young girls.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.