Pediatric migraine is a disabling condition, which can cause a significant impact on quality of life. Currently, no drugs have been approved by the FDA for its preventive treatment. Our aim was to review the medical literature concerning the efficacy and tolerability of topiramate in the prophylactic treatment of migraine in children and adolescents. A total of five papers were reviewed: two randomized controlled trials (RCTs), a post-hoc subset analysis of adolescents who had been included in three RCTs carried out on adults and two open studies. Topiramate has been proven to reduce headache frequency and the accompanying disability. The frequency of side effects varied considerably among studies, the most frequent being weight loss, anorexia, abdominal pain, difficulties in concentrating, sedation and paresthesia. Since these adverse events, although often transitory, may be distressing for the child, we strongly recommend to assess the disability caused by the migraine episodes before deciding to initiate a prophylactic treatment. Nevertheless, dropout rates due to side effects in the studies were very low.
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