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Study: Hypertension Therapy Also Prevents Migraines

Candesartan noninferior to propranolol (January 13)

Candesartan is just as effective as the more commonly prescribed propranolol when it comes to preventing migraine attacks, according to a new study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

The researchers also found that candesartan may work for patients who receive no relief from propranolol.

The new findings were reported in the journal Cephalgia.

Candesartan is already in use as a migraine prophylactic, but the NTNU study provides the first proof that the drug actually works, the authors say.

The NTNU study was a triple-blind test, which means that neither patients nor doctors, nor those who analyzed the results, knew whether the patients had been given placebo or an active treatment.

The researchers compared 12 weeks of therapy with candesartan 16 mg, slow-release propranolol 160 mg, or placebo in 72 patients who had experienced migraine attacks at least twice every month.

Candesartan was found to be non-inferior to propranolol. The proportion of responders was significantly higher in the candesartan (43%) and propranolol (40%) groups than in the placebo group (23%) (P = 0.025 and P < 0.050, respectively).

The authors concluded that candesartan is effective for migraine prevention, with an effect size similar to that of slow-release propranolol.

Sources: NTNU; January 13, 2014; and Cephalgia; December 11, 2013.

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