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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2003 Apr;4(4):485-91.

Chronic daily headaches in children.

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Headache Centre, Division of Neurology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA.


Chronic daily headache (CDH) or highly frequent headaches are being recognised as an increasing problem. In adults it is estimated that up to 4% of the population has CDH, however, this number appears to be lower in children. The actual prevalence of CDH in children, however, has not been determined. The simplest definition of CDH is > 15 headache days per month. In the international headache society (IHS) criteria, only chronic tension-type headaches and chronic cluster headaches are recognised as CDH. Criteria for CDH have been suggested for adults that mirror the IHS criteria. In children, the majority of CDH appear to be migraine related. The next revision of the IHS criteria has been proposed to include chronic migraine as one of the CDH. Evaluation of CDH needs to include a complete history and physical examination to identify any possibility of the headache representing secondary headaches. Treatment and management involves a multi-tiered approach, which includes abortive therapy when the headache becomes more severe. With the precaution of avoiding overuse of analgesic medication, prophylactic therapy is used to help reduce the characteristics of the headache as well as the frequency and mild behavioural therapy.

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