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AHS: Topiramate May Prevent Migraine Symptoms

Multi-center study shows drug has preventive benefit for patients with frequent migraine

WEDNESDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- The anti-seizure drug topiramate can prevent migraine in patients for whom headaches have become a near-daily occurrence, according to a study presented at the American Headache Society's annual scientific meeting in Los Angeles.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that involved 328 patients who kept a headache diary for 16 weeks, 165 patients received topiramate and 163 a placebo pill. By the end of the four months, 41 percent of the topiramate group had fewer headaches, compared to 29 percent of the placebo group, said Stephen Silberstein M.D., director of the Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

The patients on topiramate also showed significant reductions in symptom severity, although 29 percent experienced paresthesia as a side effect, compared with 7 percent of those in the placebo group.

"It is nice to have evidence that a medication works for this very difficult-to-treat group of patients," Silberstein said.

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