Venlafaxine Extended Release (XR) for the Prophylaxis of Migraine and Tension-type Headache: A Retrospective Study in a Clinical Setting
Adelman LC, Adelman JU, Von Seggern R, Mannix LK
Headache Wellness Center,
Greensboro, NC.
Headache 2000 Jul; 40(7):572-580


OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy of extended-release venlafaxine in the prophylaxis of migraine and chronic tension-type headache. BACKGROUND: Venlafaxine, a structurally novel antidepressant, is a selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. This study is the first to test the effects of extended-release venlafaxine on headaches. METHODS: Patients were evaluated on a retrospective basis. Fifty-six patients with chronic tension-type headache and 114 patients with migraine were prescribed extended-release venlafaxine. Nearly all the study subjects had been resistant to several previous preventive medications. Patients took venlafaxine for an average of 6 months with a median dose of 150 mg (range, 37.5 to 300 mg). RESULTS: The mean frequency of headaches in the group with chronic tension-type headache fell from 24.0 to 15.2 per month (P <.0001). The group with migraine showed a reduction from 16.1 to 11.1 headaches per month (P <.0001). The medicine was well tolerated. CONCLUSIONS: This trial indicates that extended-release venlafaxine has potential in headache prophylaxis based on its efficacy and safety profile. We recommend a double-blind, placebo-controlled study to further assess the role of extended-release venlafaxine in headache prevention.
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