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CNS Drugs. 2012 May 1;26(5):375-82. doi: 10.2165/11630590-000000000-00000.

Taking the negative view of current migraine treatments: the unmet needs.

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1
Danish Headache Center, Health Science Faculty, University of Copenhagen, Department of Neurology, Glostrup Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark. ptha@glo.regionh.dk

Abstract

Acute migraine treatment is given to abolish ongoing attacks, while prophylactic migraine treatment is given on a daily basis to prevent the occurrence of migraine attacks as far as possible. The majority of migraine patients do not use the specific acute anti-migraine drugs, the triptans. Thus, only 10% (Denmark) to 35% (France) of migraine patients use triptans. This is most likely due to relatively low efficacy. Thus, in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) pain freedom after 2 hours ranges from 12% (frovatriptan 2.5 mg) to 40% (rizatriptan 10 mg). For prophylactic treatment (propranolol, valproate, topiramate) a response (at least a 50% reduction in migraine frequency) is observed in 40-50%. In addition, prophylactic treatment is hampered by adverse events and withdrawals. There is a need for new acute anti-migraine drugs and targets are already available and there are more to come. It has been estimated that approximately 2% of the adult population need prophylactic treatment because of frequent migraine attacks. For prophylactic migraine drugs there is an even greater need for new drugs than for acute drug treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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