Drugs Can Sometimes Prevent Migraines, but at a Cost

Study finds many have side effects so bothersome that sufferers stop taking them

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Off-label angiotensin-inhibiting drugs showed the most favorable combination of benefits to potential harms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration permits physicians to prescribe approved medications for purposes other than their intended indications, and that practice is known as off-label use.

The study also found that there's a lack of research available about the long-term effects of drug treatments, especially on quality of life.

In treating migraines, off-label medications are frequently used, said Rosenberg. "In my practice I'm prescribing off-label as much as on-label." This, while state-of-the-art, should be a call to action, he added. "It's totally unacceptable that all the drugs we're using were invented for other diseases."

More information

Learn more about migraines from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

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