2022 Taiwan Guidelines for Preventive Treatment of Migraine

Acta Neurol Taiwan. 2022 Sep 30:31(3):164-202.


The Treatment Guideline Subcommittee of the Taiwan Headache Society evaluated the medications currently used for migraine prevention in Taiwan. The subcommittee assessed the results of recently published trials, meta-analyses, and guidelines. After expert panel discussions, the subcommittee reached a consensus on the preventive treatment of migraine in Taiwan, which includes recommendation levels, the strength of evidence, and essential prescription information (i.e., dosage and adverse effects) . The recent introduction of CGRP monoclonal antibodies has had a substantial effect on migraine treatment. Thus, the subcommittee updated the previous version of the treatment guideline published in 2017. Preventive medications for migraines can be divided into the following categories: ß-blockers, anticonvulsants, calcium channel blockers, antidepressants, onabotulinumtoxinA, anti-CGRP monoclonal antibodies, and complementary and alternative medicine. For episodic migraine prevention, propranolol, flunarizine, and topiramate are recommended as the first-line medications. Second-line medications for episodic migraine prevention include valproic acid, amitriptyline, and anti-CGRP monoclonal antibodies. Other treatment options could be used as third-line treatments. For chronic migraine prevention, topiramate, flunarizine, onabotulinumtoxinA, and anti-CGRP monoclonal antibodies are recommended as first-line therapies. Preventive medications for episodic migraine can also be used as second-line treatments for chronic migraine. For menstrual migraines, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and triptans can be used for short-term prophylaxis. Indications for starting preventive treatment include a headache frequency of ≥4 days per month, profound disabilities, failure of or contraindication to acute therapies, a complicated migraine with debilitating (e.g., hemiplegic) auras, and migrainous brain infarction. The general principle for oral preventives is to "start low and go slow" while monitoring for adverse events and comorbid conditions. Physicians could consider gradually tapering the medications in patients with sustained improvement over 3 to 6 months in episodic migraine and 6 to 12 months in chronic migraine. Education about not overusing acute medications is also essential for all patients with migraine. Key words: migraine, preventive treatment, evidence-based medicine, guidelines, CGRP monoclonal antibodies, onabotulinumtoxinA, neuromodulation.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A* / therapeutic use
  • Flunarizine / therapeutic use
  • Headache / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Migraine Disorders* / prevention & control
  • Taiwan
  • Topiramate / therapeutic use


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Topiramate
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A
  • Flunarizine