Subcutaneous histamine versus sodium valproate in migraine prophylaxis: a randomized, controlled, double-blind study


Rebeca O. Millán-Guerrero, Department of Neurology, Unidad de Investigación Médica en Epidemiología Clínica, Hospital General de Zona UMF No 1 IMSS, J. Jesús Ponce No 538, Lomas de Circunvalación CP 28010, Colima, México (tel.: (01312) 31417 57; fax: (01312) 314 17 57; e-mail:


Histamine has a selective affinity for H3-receptors and it may specifically inhibit the neurogenic edema response involved in migraine pathophysiology. The objective of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic potential of subcutaneous administration of histamine in migraine prophylaxis, compared with oral administration of sodium valproate, in an open clinical trial. Ninety-two patients with migraine were selected under criteria established by the International Headache Society and enrolled in a 12-week double-blind controlled clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of subcutaneous administration of histamine (1–10 ng twice a week; n = 46) compared with oral administration of sodium valproate (500 mg daily dose; n = 46). The variables studied were headache intensity, frequency, duration, analgesic intake and migraine disability assessment (MIDAS). Two-tailed Student's t- test was used to compare means and the Mann–Whitney U and anova tests were used. The data collected during the 4th, 8th and 12th weeks of treatment revealed that histamine caused a significantly greater reduction (P < 0.001) in intensity and duration of migraine attacks as well as in analgesic intake. No difference was detected in the frequency of attacks or in MIDAS. The present study provides evidence of the superior efficacy of histamine applied subcutaneously in migraine prophylaxis when compared with sodium valproate taken orally. Subcutaneously applied histamine may represent a novel and effective therapeutic alternative in resistant migraine patients.