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Efficacy of frovatriptan in the acute treatment of menstrually related migraine: analysis of a double-blind, randomized, cross-over, multicenter, Italian, comparative study versus rizatriptan.

Author(s): Savi L, Omboni S, Lisotto C, Zanchin G, Ferrari MD, Zava D, Pinessi L.

Affiliation(s): Neurologia II, Department of Neurology, Centro Cefalee, University of Torino, Via Cherasco 15, 10126, Turin, Italy.

Publication date & source: 2011, J Headache Pain. , 12(6):609-15

The objectives of this study are to assess the efficacy and safety of frovatriptan, and rizatriptan in the subgroup of women with menstrually related migraine of a multicenter, randomized, double blind, cross-over study. Each patient received frovatriptan 2.5 mg or rizatriptan 10 mg in a randomized sequence: after treating 3 episodes of migraine in not more than 3 months with the first treatment, the patient had to switch to the other treatment. Menstrually related migraine was defined according to the criteria listed in the Appendix of the last IHS Classification of Headache disorders. 99 out of the 125 patients included in the intention-to-treat analysis of the main study were of a female gender: 93 had regular menstrual cycles and were, thus, included in this analysis. A total of 49 attacks classified as menstrually related migraine were treated with frovatriptan and 59 with rizatriptan. Rate of pain relief at 2 h was 58% for frovatriptan and 64% for rizatriptan (p = NS), while rate of pain free at 2 h was 31 and 34% (p = NS), respectively. At 24 h, 67 and 81% of frovatriptan-treated, and 61 and 74% of rizatriptan-treated patients were pain free and had pain relief, respectively (p = NS). Recurrence at 24 h was significantly (p < 0.01) lower with frovatriptan (10 vs. 32% rizatriptan). Frovatriptan was as effective as rizatriptan in the immediate treatment of menstrually related migraine attacks while showing a favorable sustained effect with a lower rate of migraine recurrence. These results need to be confirmed by randomized, double-blind, prospective, large clinical trials.

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