The preventive effect of atenolol on migraine attacks was compared to placebo in a double-blind cross-over study. 24 patients with classic and/or common migraine entered the 36-week study; four subsequently dropped out. The effect of atenolol was significantly better than that of placebo. The number of headache attacks was reduced in 15 of 20 patients (r<0.05) and the values for integrated headache diminished in 19 of 20 patients (r<0.001).
Intake of ergotamine products was significantly lower in all patients using such drugs, while the consumption of common analgesics did not differ between the trial periods. No serious side effects were noted.