Migraine is a common, often invalidating disorder, whose treatment requires drugs for the interruption of ongoing attacks (symptomatic agents) and drugs for the prevention of new attacks (prophylactic agents). All migraineurs need to be properly treated to obtain the rapid and safe elimination of pain and pain-associated symptoms (i.e. nausea, vomiting, phono- and photophobia), while only patients with two attacks or more per month, which do not respond to symptomatic treatment, should be considered for preventive treatment. Symptomatic antimigraine drugs may be specific (ergot alkaloids, triptans) or non specific (analgesics and antiemetic or prokinetic compounds). Specificity of action does not necessarily imply a higher rate of success or a better tolerability. Actually, recent studies have demonstrated that a combination of two 'old' antimigraine agents (lysine acetylsalicylate and metoclopramide) is at least as effective as the 'new' symptomatic drug sumatriptan. The mechanim(s) of action, efficacy rate and tolerability of the most widely used symptomatic antimigrane drugs are illustrated, discussed and compared. The choice of drug, dose and route depends on the characteristics and frequency of the attacks, as well as on contraindications for and preferences of the patient.
|Translated title of the contribution||Specific and non specific drugs for the acute treatment of migraine attacks - A comparison|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology