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Neurol Sci. 2005 May;26 Suppl 2:s125-9.

Advanced strategies of short-term prophylaxis in menstrual migraine: state of the art and prospects.

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  • 1Woman's Headache Center, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Turin, Via Ventimiglia 3, I-10126, Turin, Italy.


Patients suffering from menstrual migraine (MM) may be ideal candidates for an intermittent prophylaxis, usually termed short-term or mini-prophylaxis. It covers the whole period of vulnerability, e. g., the perimenstrual period, starting some days before the expected onset of MM attack. Theoretically MM attacks are an optimal target for drugs specifically developed for acute head pain. Unfortunately, due to their particular tendency to be longer, more intense and less responsive to analgesics, symptomatic approaches alone are not often able to completely control pain and its correlates. Many drugs have been proposed for short-term prophylaxis of MM. In this paper we analyse only non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, coxibs and triptans (especially those with longer half-life, naratriptan and frovatriptan). Moreover, MM can be prevented by a variety of hormonal manipulations, including oral contraceptives, which may be administered with an extended-dosing strategy; oestrogen replacement therapy; antioestrogen agents (danazol, tamoxifen); gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists followed by oestrogen add-back therapy. Finally, the use of some products, such as magnesium and phytoestrogens, that probably meet the requirements of those patients that appreciate a more "natural" approach, is discussed.

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