Tim Brunson DCH

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Butterbur root extract and music therapy in the prevention of childhood migraine.



Migraine is very common in school-aged children, but despite a number of pharmacological and non-pharmacological options for prophylaxis, randomized controlled evidence in children is small. Evidence-based prophylactic drugs may have considerable side effects. OBJECTIVE: This study was to assess efficacy of a butterbur root extract (Petadolex) and music therapy in primary school children with migraine. DESIGN: Prospective, randomized, partly double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial. METHODS: Following a 8-week baseline patients were randomized and received either butterbur root extract (n=19), music therapy (n=20) or placebo (n=19) over 12 weeks. All participants received additionally headache education ("treatment as usual") from the baseline onwards. Reduction of headache frequency after treatment (8-week post-treatment) as well as 6 months later (8-week follow-up) was the efficacy variable. RESULTS: Data analysis of subjects completing the respective study phase showed that during post-treatment, only music therapy was superior to placebo (p=0.005), whereas in the follow-up period both music therapy and butterbur root extract were superior to placebo (p=0.018 and p=0.044, respectively). All groups showed a substantial reduction of attack frequency already during baseline. CONCLUSION: Butterbur root extract and music therapy might be superior to placebo and may represent promising treatment approaches in the prophylaxis of paediatric migraine.

Eur J Pain. 2008 Apr;12(3):301-13. Epub 2007 Jul 30. Oelkers-Ax R, Leins A, Parzer P, Hillecke T, Bolay HV, Fischer J, Bender S, Hermanns U, Resch F. Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Heidelberg, Blumenstrasse 8, D-69115 Heidelberg, Germany. rieke_oelkers@med.uni-heidelberg.de

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