Beta-blockers and therapy beat migraines

The use of beta-blockers with behavioural management can improve migraine care, US research shows.

A team from Ohio University found that, compared with either method alone, the two interventions taken together were more effective at reducing severity and number of migraines.

The researchers assessed 232 adults with at least three migraines with disability every 30 days.

They examined the effects of four treatment combinations: beta-blocker, placebo, behavioural migraine management plus beta-blocker, or management plus placebo.

Patients were assessed for number of migraines per 30 days, and for change in quality of life as a result.

The researchers found that beta-blocker plus management combination led to 3.3 fewer migraines per 30 days compared with optimised acute treatment alone.

However, the individual interventions or placebo alone provided no additional benefit over acute treatment.

Stephen Robinson

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BMJ online 2010

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