JOURNAL ARTICLE

A review of the use of frovatriptan in the treatment of menstrually related migraine

Gianni Allais, Chiara Benedetto
Therapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders 2013, 6 (2): 55-67
23483096
Menstrual migraine (MM) is a highly prevalent condition associated with considerable disability. Migraine attacks occur exclusively around the menstrual period in approximately 10% of women with migraine, that is, pure menstrual migraine, while at least 50% of them also experience migraine at other times of the month, that is, menstrually related migraine (MRM). The therapeutic approach to patients with MRM is based on treatment of the attack, or prophylactic strategies. Triptans are recommended as first-line treatments for moderate to severe migraine attacks, including MM. Frovatriptan is one of the newest triptans. Its high affinity for 5-HT1B/1D receptors and long half-life contribute to its distinctive clinical effect, characterized by a more sustained and prolonged effect than other triptans. Indeed, frovatriptan proved to be effective in treating the acute attack, but was particularly effective in the short-term preventive therapy of MM. In addition, frovatriptan is one of the safest triptans, with the lowest risk of treatment-emergent adverse events. Following extensive evidence from randomized pharmacological trials, frovatriptan has now gained a grade A recommendation from the guidelines for short-term prophylaxis of MM. Recent post-hoc analyses of direct comparative trials also suggest that frovatriptan might have an important role in the acute treatment of MRM. In these studies, frovatriptan showed pain relief and pain-free rates similar to those of zolmitriptan, rizatriptan, and almotriptan, but with significantly lower recurrence rates. More well-designed, randomized, prospective studies, specifically enrolling women with MM, will be needed in the near future to confirm the efficacy of frovatriptan in this migraine subtype.

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