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Cephalalgia. 1985 May;5 Suppl 2:155-8.

Flunarizine in common migraine: Italian cooperative trial. II. Long-term follow-up.


The effects of flunarizine administration (10 mg/day, at bed time) were studied in 120 common migraine patients who were followed for 24 months with quarterly controls. Besides headache index (HI) and analgesic use, other variables were monitored, such as arousal (Tolouse Pieron test), mood (Hamilton rating scale for depression), sleep/wake (hrs) and body weight. The study was open-type and after the 6th month control some responder (R) cases (HI reduction greater than or equal to 60%) presenting HI scores less than or equal to 4 could continue the survey off-treatment. The percentage of R cases was 54.5% at the 3rd month, a figure that further increased up to 72% by the 9th month; relapses on treatment were not observed and rebound-headache occurred in 1/4 of R cases let off-treatment. Lower (p less than 0.05) baseline HI values characterized non-responders. Side-effects not requiring withdrawal were drowsiness (42% within the 1st month) and weight gain (mean 7.9 +/- 6.9 kg) in 54% of the cases, while a retarded type depression was the most frequent cause of drop-out from trial (7.5%). The results, while confirming the high prophylactic activity of flunarizine in common migraine, stress the importance of clinical long-term survey of side-effects using antimigraine drugs and suggest the need for further investigations about flunarizine effects on CNS.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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