Drug doesn't help prevent migraine after all

Feb 11, 2008

Contrary to some reports, the epilepsy drug oxcarbazepine does not appear to prevent migraine, according to research published in the February 12, 2008, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The nearly five-month study involved 170 men and women at clinics across the United States with half of the group receiving a daily dose of oxcarbazepine; the other half took placebo. Both groups included people who had three to nine migraine attacks within a month.

Researchers found no difference between the oxcarbazepine and placebo groups in the change in the number of migraine attacks from the beginning to the end of the study.

“The results of this trial do not support preliminary data which had suggested oxcarbazepine was effective in preventing migraine,” said study author Stephen D. Silberstein, MD, with Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. “While several epilepsy drugs have been used for decades to prevent migraine, oxcarbazepine did not prevent migraine in this study despite it being shown to be safe and well-tolerated.”

Silberstein says the three epilepsy drugs that most effectively prevent migraine, topiramate, divalproex and gabapentin, have several mechanisms by which they treat migraine, including the ability to regulate a neurotransmitter known as GABA. In contrast, oxcarbazepine has no apparent activity on GABA. Silberstein says it’s possible that epilepsy drugs must be able to regulate this neurotransmitter in order to prevent migraine.

In addition, Silberstein says several factors may have contributed to the lack of response in this study, including that the participants had difficult-to-treat migraines.

Migraine is estimated to affect more than 28 million Americans at some point in their lives, costing $18 billion per year in absenteeism and impaired work function and $1 billion dollars per year in medical care costs.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Explore further: Anti-cholinergic drugs impair physical function in elderly patients

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How science can beat the flawed metric that rules it

1 minute ago

In order to improve something, we need to be able to measure its quality. This is true in public policy, in commercial industries, and also in science. Like other fields, science has a growing need for quantitative ...

Spin-based electronics: New material successfully tested

12 minutes ago

Spintronics is an emerging field of electronics, where devices work by manipulating the spin of electrons rather than the current generated by their motion. This field can offer significant advantages to computer technology. ...

How might climate change affect our food supply?

24 minutes ago

It's no easy question to answer, but prudence demands that we try. Thus, Microsoft and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have teamed up to tackle "food resilience," one of several themes ...

Recommended for you

FDA to start regulating lab-developed tests

18 hours ago

(AP)—The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday it will begin regulating laboratory-developed tests, a growing class of medical diagnostics that have never before been subject to federal oversight.

Determine patient preferences by means of conjoint analysis

Jul 29, 2014

The Conjoint Analysis (CA) method is in principle suitable to find out which preferences patients have regarding treatment goals. However, to widely use it in health economic evaluations, some (primarily methodological) issues ...

User comments : 0