Prevalence of chronic migraine in children can reach 7.7%, causing decreased school performance, difficulty with extracurricular activities (including sports, theater, or music), and changes in sleep and mood. Many studies confirm that botulinum toxin type A injections effectively alleviate chronic migraines in adults; however, the literature regarding children is sparse. This study aims to analyze the safety and effectiveness of botulinum type A injections in a group of pediatric patients diagnosed with chronic migraines in a pediatric pain clinic.
In this retrospective (2013–2018) study, the effects of botulinum toxin type A injections were analyzed using data from 65 pediatric patients diagnosed with chronic migraines. The study group ranged from 11 to 18 years of age. A pediatric pain management physician administered the botulinum using the Phase 3 Research Evaluating Migraine Prophylaxis Therapy program protocol and followed the pain pattern. Dosages, tolerance, and side effects were measured.
In this study, 74% of the patients tried more than 6 medications before the injections. There was a decrease in the visual analog scale score of 5.2 ± 2.2 points upon 6-week follow-up. The mean amount of medication used was 173.2 ± 35 units, and patients received an average of 2.8 ± 1.1 units/kg. Adverse events include one patient who developed dizziness and another who had low-grade fevers with enlarged cervical lymph nodes; both resolved within few minutes.
This study supports the use of botulinum type A for chronic migraines in pediatric patients. Multicentered, randomized studies with larger population are needed to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of this therapy.