Venlafaxine extended release (XR) for the prophylaxis of migraine and tension-type headache: A retrospective study in a clinical setting

Headache. 2000 Jul-Aug;40(7):572-80. doi: 10.1046/j.1526-4610.2000.00089.x.

Abstract

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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Anxiety / complications
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cyclohexanols / administration & dosage
  • Cyclohexanols / therapeutic use*
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Depression / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / classification
  • Migraine Disorders / complications
  • Migraine Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Tension-Type Headache / classification
  • Tension-Type Headache / complications
  • Tension-Type Headache / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Venlafaxine Hydrochloride

Substances

  • Cyclohexanols
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Venlafaxine Hydrochloride