Pharmacotherapy of migraine

V. Demarin, A. Lovrencic-Huzjan, T. Rundek, S. Podobnik-Sarkanji

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Migraine is a frequent disease, which makes the patients impossible to function normally. The exact mechanism of the pathogenesis of attack is not known, although a few theories do exist. One is the vascular theory, and the other the theory of 'neurogenic inflammation'. 5-HT is an important neurotransmitter in the pathogenesis of migraine attack. Stress is one of the important risk factors for initiating the attack. Treatment call be started by eliminating the possible trigger factor for the development of the attack. The acute attack can be treated by different drugs: non-steroid antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including acetylsalicylic acid and paracetamol, mostly combined with an antiemetic; ergot preparations, which are widely used but have not proved their efficacy in controlled clinical trials and can lead to addiction and 'ergot-dependent headache'; sumatriptan, which is a selective 5-HT1D receptor agonist, and is a highly selective drug for the treatment of migraine attacks. In patients with two or more attacks per month prophylactic treatment should be started. For migraine prevention different 5-HT2 receptor antagonists with 5-HT1C activity may be used: beta adrenergic receptor blockers, antidepressants, pizotifen and methysergide. Various relaxation techniques and acupuncture may be used as non-drug treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
JournalActa Clinica Croatica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Migraine
  • Serotonin
  • Sumatriptan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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