Objective: To determine the role of naratriptan in preventing migraine headache when administered during prodrome.
Procedures: Baseline phase: patients recorded prodrome symptoms and time of onset, time when patient knew that headache was inevitable, time of onset and severity of headache. Treatment phase: patients given naratriptan 2.5 mg to take at the time they knew headache was inevitable. Patients recorded prodrome symptoms and time of onset, time they knew headache was inevitable, time naratriptan administered, time of onset and severity of any headache. Patients treated three prodromes separated by at least 48 h.
Findings: Twenty patients completed both phases. During baseline phase, 59 prodromes were reported and all were followed by headache. Severity of headache: 5% mild, 51% moderate, 44% severe. During treatment phase, 63 prodromes were reported. Of these, 38/63 (60%) were not followed by headache. Among headaches that occurred, the majority occurred within 2 h of naratriptan administration, suggesting that naratriptan is more effective in preventing headache if taken early in prodrome. Severity of 25 headaches: 44% mild, 24% moderate, 32% severe.
Conclusions: Naratriptan 2.5 mg appears to prevent migraine headache when given early in prodrome. If headache occurs, severity appears to be reduced.