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Keywords:

  • triptan;
  • hunger-induced migraine;
  • migraine trigger;
  • migraine prevention

Objective.— To examine frovatriptan's efficacy as preemptive treatment for fasting-induced migraine.

Background.— Fasting is a common migraine trigger that cannot always be avoided. The development of a short-term preemptive approach would be of benefit. Because of its longer half-life, frovatriptan has been effectively used for short-term daily use to prevent menstrually related migraines and might prove useful in the prevention of fasting-induced migraine.

Methods.— This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, parallel-group trial.

Subjects.— With a history of fasting-induced episodic migraine were randomly assigned to receive either frovatriptan (5.0 mg) or placebo (ratio 1:1).

Subjects.— Took a single dose of study medication at the start of their 20-hour fast. Information about headache intensity, associated symptoms, and use of rescue medication was captured at defined time points from the start of the fast through 20 hours post-fast.

Results.— Of the 75 subjects screened, 74 subjects were randomized and 71 subjects completed the study. Demographic characteristics of the placebo and frovatriptan treatment groups were not statistically different. Thirty-three subjects received active drug. Twelve (36.4%) developed a headache between 6 and 20 hours after the start of the fast (1/33 mild, 11/33 moderate or severe). In the placebo group, 18/34 (52.9%) developed a headache (4/34 mild, 14/34 moderate or severe). The difference between the 2 treatment groups did not achieve statistical significance; Pearson chi-square, = .172.

Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed no difference between the 2 treatment groups with respect to the time of onset of headache of any intensity (log rank, P = .264) and for the time of onset of a moderate or severe intensity (log rank, P = .634).

Conclusion.— More subjects on placebo developed a headache than those on frovatriptan. Perhaps because of the small number of subjects involved, the differences in headache incidences observed did not achieve statistical significance.