Symptoms of classic migraine attacks: modifications brought about by metoprolol

C Hedman, A R Andersen, P G Andersson, N E Gilhus, P Kangasniemi, J E Olsson, E Strandman, K Nestvold, J Olesen


There is little information available concerning whether, and to what extent, migraine-prophylactic agents interfere with the symptoms of migraine attacks. The present study is a placebo-controlled, double-blind study concerning metoprolol in classic migraine. The data refer to the symptoms of single migraine attacks. During metoprolol treatment more attacks were characterized as mild (p = 0.002), and mean global rating (an integrated estimate of headache intensity and of other discomfort) was lower (4.2 versus 5.2, p = 0.003). The mean headache intensity per attack (1.97 versus 2.15) and the mean duration (5.5 versus 6.8 h) were not significantly different. Consumption of analgesics per attack was lower during metoprolol treatment (0.6 versus 1.1; p = 0.02). Attacks with associated symptoms accompanying the headache were fewer during metoprolol treatment (p = 0.014). Total visual and non-visual aura symptoms occurred with similar frequency, but scintillations and paraesthesia were more frequent during metoprolol treatment, whereas speech disturbances were less frequent. In spite of lower consumption of analgesics, the symptoms appeared milder during metoprolol than during placebo. The pattern of changes indicates that metoprolol exerts its action via the sympathetic nervous system; peripheral vasoconstriction is hardly the underlying mechanism of action.

TidsskriftCephalalgia : an international journal of headache
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)279-84
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - dec. 1988
Udgivet eksterntJa


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