Medication for Migraines in Children

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Antidepressants for Migraines?

Antidepressants are often prescribed to children for treatment of migraines. This may shock you. I know the first thing out of my mouth was “My child isn’t depressed!” even as my doctor braced himself for dealing with what I’m sure was just another over protective mother. But, in all honesty my son wasn’t depressed and I was offended by the idea that a doctor would want to medicate him for a problem that didn’t exist. Then he patiently explained the situation.

Antidepressants generally raise levels of serotonin. I know…lucky serotonin right? Now can someone please tell me some information that has to do with my child’s migraines?! It’s okay, the answer is forthcoming.

Sometimes migraines are caused by a lack of serotonin in the body. Serotonin is the chemical in our bodies that helps us to feel happy. People who are severely lacking in producing serotonin often become very depressed as their body responds to this lack of the chemical that makes them happy. However, a lack of serotonin does not always cause depression. Instead, it causes headaches or migraines in severe cases. In children, very small doses of antidepressants raise the levels of serotonin and cause relief from the head pain.

Epileptic Medication for Migraines?

Another medication option for the treatment of migraines would be some epileptic medications. These are medications that are given to patients who experience seizures. Since seizures are due to a malfunction in the brain, it’s easy to understand why these medications would work well for those suffering from migraines as well.

These medications, such as Topamax, are given in very small doses to migraine patients. Large doses are reserved for those who suffer from seizures, and are not necessary for people with migraines. So if your doctor tries to prescribe this to you or your child, know that they are not doing so because they think you or your child has epilepsy or another form of seizures. This medication just happens to have an effect on the processes in the brain that play a part in the disease of epilepsy as well as the disease of migraines.