Medication Overuse in Children and Adolescents

  • Amy A. GelfandEmail author
  • Peter J. Goadsby
Childhood and Adolescent Headache (S Evers, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Childhood and Adolescent Headache


Medication overuse is not uncommon among children and adolescents with primary headache disorders. Medication overuse in adults is associated with increased headache frequency and reduced effectiveness of acute and preventive medications. These issues probably exist in children. While withdrawal of overused medications is generally recommended, it may not result in improved headache frequency in all patients. This review summarizes what is known about predicting the response to medication withdrawal. Strategies for managing children and adolescents with medication overuse are also offered.


Medication overuse headache Rebound headache Withdrawal headache Pediatric headache 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Amy A. Gelfand receives grant support from NIH/NINDS (K12NS001692) and the UCSF Center for Translational Science Institute. She has received honoraria from Journal Watch Neurology and personal compensation for legal consulting.

Dr. Peter J. Goadsby is on the boards of Allergan, Colucid, MAP pharmaceuticals, Merck, Sharpe and Dohme, eNeura, Autonomic Technologies Inc, Boston Scientific, Eli-Lilly, Medtronic, Linde gases, Electrocore, Arteaus, AlderBio and BristolMyerSquibb. He has consulted for Pfizer, Nevrocorp , Zogenix, Impax, Zosano and Dr. Reddy, and has been compensated for expert legal testimony. He has grant support from MAP, MSD, Allergan, and Amgen. He has received honoraria for speaking from Pfizer and Allergan, and payment for editorial work from Journal Watch Neurology and for developing educational materials for the American Headache Society.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCSF Headache CenterSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.UCSF Division of Child NeurologySan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.NIHR-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research FacilityKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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