Is flunarizine any good for migraine prophylaxis?

Flunarizine versus topiramate for chronic migraine prophylaxis: a randomized trial

Lai KL, Niddam DM, Fuh JL, et al.

Acta Neurol Scand 2016 Jun 16. doi: 10.1111/ane.12626 (Epub ahead of print)

Abstract

Objectives

Chronic migraine (CM) is a prevalent and devastating disorder with limited therapeutic options. This study explored the efficacy of 10 mg/d flunarizine for CM prophylaxis as compared with 50 mg/d topiramate.

Methods

We conducted a prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded-endpoint trial. Patients with CM were randomized to flunarizine and topiramate treatment. The primary outcomes assessed were the reductions in the total numbers of headache days and migraine days after 8 weeks of treatment. Secondary outcomes were reductions in the numbers of days of acute abortive medication intake and acute abortive medication tablets taken, and the 50% responder rate.

Results

Sixty-two subjects were randomized (n=31/group). Patients treated with flunarizine showed significant reductions in the numbers of total headache days (−4.9 vs −2.3, P=.012) and migraine days (−4.3 vs −1.4, P=.001) compared with those treated with topiramate. Patients treated with flunarizine also showed significant reductions in the numbers of days of acute abortive medication intake (−2.3 vs −0.2, P=.005) and acute abortive medication tablets taken (−4.6 vs −0.5, P=.005) and had a higher 50% responder rate in terms of total headache days (58.6% vs 25.9%, P=.013) and migraine days (75.9% vs 29.6%, P=.001), compared with topiramate-treated patients. Flunarizine was generally well tolerated and had a safety profile comparable to that of topiramate.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that, in an 8-week study, 10 mg/d flunarizine is more effective than 50 mg/d topiramate for CM prophylaxis.

This reference is now included in the neurochecklist:

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