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Keywords:

  • migraine;
  • prophylaxis;
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor;
  • sertraline

The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of sertraline in migraine prophylaxis. Other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been studied for migraine prophylaxis, but this is the first report with sertraline. Twenty-seven subjects were enrolled and baseline assessment of migraine frequency and severity were measured over a 4-week period. Subjects were then randomized to receive placebo or sertraline in a double-blind fashion with headache frequency and severity measured over an 8-week period. Subjects completed a daily diary reporting the occurrence, severity, and degree of impairment associated with migraine.

The headache index, a composite measure of migraine frequency and severity, scores did not significantly improve between assessments at baseline (20.8 ± 14.88), 8 weeks (17.6 ± 12.27), and 12 weeks (16.7 ± 6.38) in the treatment group (n=6) (P=0.956). This finding is compared to other studies with the serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, and paroxetine. The authors believe that the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are not as effective as conventional migraine prophylaxis medications such as β-blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, or divalproex sodium, but that in patients with comorbid depression who have failed conventional therapy selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may be effective.