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Migraine drugs generally effective, but carry side effects.

Approved drag treatments for chronic and episodic migraine are mostly effective. However, treatments boost the risk of adverse effects and treatment discontinuation due to those effects, according to a new research review by the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality's Effective Health Care Program.

Episodic migraine is characterized by less than 15 migraine days per month and chronic migraine by 15 or more headache days per month. For episodic migraine, all approved drugs--such as topiramate, opiramate, divalproex, timolol, and propranolol--are effective in reducing monthly migraine frequency, but similarly increase risk of adverse effects and treatment discontinuation. For chronic migraine, the medicine onabotulinumtoxinA reduces migraine attacks by more than 50%, but increases the risk of adverse effects and treatment discontinuation due to those effects. Compared with approved migraine drugs, some off-label beta blockers and angiotensin inhibiting drugs are more effective and safer for preventing adult migraine.

These findings and others can be found in the research review, Migraine in Adults: Preventive Pharmacologic Treatments, at http://go.usa. gov/Tzd5

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Title Annotation:MinutesMEDSURG
Publication:MedSurg Nursing
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2013
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