Objective: To assess the efficacy and safety of topiramate and lamotrigine for prophylaxis in patients with frequent migraine as compared to each other and to placebo.
Methods: Sixty patients with frequent migraine (more than 4 attacks per month) from the headache clinic at a tertiary referral centre in India were randomized to receive 50 mg topiramate/lamotrigine or matching placebo for 1 month each in 2 divided doses in 4 phases in a crossover manner with a washout period of 7 days in between. Primary efficacy measure was responder rate (50% decrease in mean migraine frequency/intensity). Secondary efficacy measures included reduction in mean monthly frequency, intensity, duration, rescue medication use, migraine associated symptoms, and adverse events.
Statistical analysis: Analysis was on intention to treat basis. Data were analyzed as correlated data. Generalized estimation equation was used to compute overall mean standard deviation and 95% confidence intervals for each of the outcome variables. Bonferroni's correction done for multiple comparisons. P value of < .017 was taken as significant.
Results: Fifty-seven patients comprised the intent-to-treat population. Four patients withdrew from the study at various phases, none because of the side effects. Responder rate for frequency was significantly higher for topiramate versus placebo (63% vs 30%, P < .001), and versus lamotrigine (63% vs 46 %, P = .02). For intensity of headache also a responder rate of topiramate versus placebo (50% vs 10%, P < .001), and versus lamotrigine (50% vs 41%, P = .01) was observed. Topiramate showed statistically significant benefits (P < .017) in most of the secondary efficacy measures while lamotrigine was beneficial for reduction in headache frequency, and migraine associated symptoms. Adverse events were similar.
Conclusion: Low-dose topiramate is efficacious in migraine prophylaxis as compared to both placebo and lamotrigine. Lamotrigine in low doses might be beneficial for headache frequency; however, longer trials are required to establish its efficacy on the intensity and frequency of migraine.