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Open Access Open Badges Review article

Triptans in prevention of menstrual migraine: a systematic review with meta-analysis

Yong Hu, Xiaofei Guan, Lin Fan and Lingjing Jin*

Author Affiliations

Department of neurology, Shanghai Tongji Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Xin-Cun Road 389, Shanghai, 200065, China

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The Journal of Headache and Pain 2013, 14:7  doi:10.1186/1129-2377-14-7

Published: 30 January 2013


Randomized clinical trials (RCT) assessing the efficacy and tolerability of triptans compared with placebo as short-term prophylaxis of menstrual migraine (MM) were systematically reviewed in this study. Triptans, which interfere with the pathogenesis of migraine and are effective in relieving associated neurovegetative symptoms, have been extensively proposed for prevention of menstrual migraine attacks. We searched Cochrane CENTRAL, MEDLINE and EMBASE for randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials on triptans for MM until 1 Oct, 2012. A total of six RCTs were identified. Two authors independently assessed trial’s quality and extracted data. Numbers of participants free from MM per perimenstrual period (PMP), requiring rescue medication, suffering from headache-associated symptoms and experiencing adverse events in treatment and control groups were used to calculate relative risk (RR) and number needed to treat (NNT) with their corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI). A total of 633 participants received frovatriptan 2.5 mg QD, 584 received frovatriptan 2.5 mg BID, 392 received naratriptan 1 mg BID, 70 received naratriptan 2.5 mg BID, 80 received zolmitriptan 2.5 mg BID, 83 received zolmitriptan 2.5 mg TID and 1104 received placebo. Overall, triptans is an effective, short-term, prophylactic treatment of choice for MM. Considering MM frequency, severity and adverse events, frovatriptan 2.5 mg BID and zolmitriptan 2.5 mg TID tend to be the preferred regimens.

Meta-analysis; Systematic review; Frovatriptan; Naratriptan; Zolmitriptan; Menstruation; Migraine; Prophylaxis