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Topiramate or flunarizine in the preventive treatment of migraine. A comparative study of two series of cases
INTRODUCTION. Both flunarizine and, more recently, topiramate have proved to be effective in the prophylaxis of migraine.
AIM. To compare two independent groups of patients with similar clinical and demographic characteristics who were treated with flunarizine or topiramate as the preferred drug in the prevention of their migraines and to evaluate effectiveness and safety according to the medication they received.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. All the patients reported more than four episodes a month and/or transformed migraine according to Silberstein’s criteria, and had never received prophylactic treatment. Data determined: the number and average number of migraines in the previous month and at the fourth month of treatment, and the rate of respondents.
RESULTS. A total of 125 patients were included in each group. No significant differences were found between the groups as regards mean age or the average number of migraines in the previous month. With both drugs there was a significant decrease (0.0001) in the mean number of episodes in the fourth month of treatment, but with no significant difference between them: topiramate (5.88 ± 3.7 to 2.1 ± 2.5) and flunarizine (5.24 ± 3.2 to 2.3 ± 2.7). The mean reduction in the number of migraines at the fourth month was 58.2 ± 38.2% with topiramate, and 55.4 ± 37.5% with flunarizine. The respondent rate was 71% with topiramate and 67% with flunarizine. The percentage of dropouts with topiramate (28%) was higher than with flunarizine (11%) (0.0013). With topiramate 69 patients reported side effects and 53 patients reported them with flunarizine (0.0427).