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Children with headache disorders may benefit from anti-CGRP mAb treatment



Use of anti–calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) may benefit children with more than 8 headache days each month, a high Pediatric Migraine Disability Assessment (PedMIDAS) score, and failure of other treatments; however, researchers cautioned that long-term safety outcomes for the treatment are not yet known, according to a recent set of recommendations published in the journal Headache.

Christina Szperka  MD, MSCE, of the Division of Neurology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Dr. Christina Szperka

Christina L. Szperka, MD, MSCE, of the division of neurology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and members of the Pediatric and Adolescent Headache special interest group of the American Headache Society discussed the topic of anti-CGRP mAbs at the 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society. They noted clinical outcomes for anti-CGRP mAbs in pediatric patients will likely not be available for several years and created a set of recommendations based on expert opinion of anti-CGRP mAb use in children and adolescents.

Their recommendations support using anti-CGRP mAbs for children with migraine if patients meet the following criteria: headache frequency exceeding 8 headache days per month; a PedMIDAS score of 30 or greater; failure of two or more therapies, such as pharmacologic, nonpharmacologic, or nutraceutical ones; and in patients who are past puberty.

The special interest group recommended against use of anti-CGRP mAbs in children and adolescents with recent meningitis, recent peripheral nerve injury, neurosurgery, or a central nervous system injury caused by a potentially compromised blood-brain barrier. Children and adolescents with immunodeficiency, receiving immunosuppressive medications, with structural heart defects, with pulmonary hypertension, with coronary artery disease, with cardiomyopathy, or at risk for stroke should also avoid use of anti-CGRP mAbs. Anti-CGRP mAbs are also potentially teratogenic and should not be used by adolescents or women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a pregnancy wish.

Pediatric patients with significant osteoporosis or bone disease should be monitored when prescribed anti-CGRP mAbs, and the recommendations specified monitoring height and linear growth or waiting until after puberty to prescribe anti-CGRP mAbs. Although there is currently no evidence that use of anti-CGRP mAb requires pituitary hormone monitoring, the recommendations noted that weight and body mass index should also be observed.

“Pediatric and adolescent trials of anti-CGRP mAbs should be designed to maximize the chances of determining efficacy in these age groups and should focus on those who have not been successful with current multidisciplinary care,” Dr. Szperka and her colleagues wrote in the recommendations. “In the interim, the use of anti-CGRP mAbs for the treatment of headache disorders in children and adolescents may be considered in appropriate cases but should be done with close follow-up and attention to patient characteristics such as age, pubertal state, and medical comorbidities.”

Dr. Szperka receives grant support from Pfizer and Amgen and research funding from NIH. Other authors have reported grants, consulting fees, speaking fees, royalties, advisory board memberships, speaker’s bureau memberships and travel funds from Alder, Allergan, American Academy of Neurology, Amgen, Aralez, Avanir, Autonomic Technologies Inc., Biohaven, Cambridge University Press, Curelator, Depomed, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Electrocore, eNeura, Genentech, Healint, Impax, JAMA Neurology, Journal Watch, Lilly, Massachusetts Medical Society, MedDay, MedicoLegal, Merck, NIH, Novartis, Oxford University Press, Quest Diagnostics, Scion, Supernus, Teva, Trigemina Inc., Upsher-Smith, UpToDate, Wolters Kluwer and Zosano.

SOURCE: Szperka CL et al. Headache. 2018. doi: 10.1111/head.13414.

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