CNS Drugs

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 21–33

Role of Antiepileptic Drugs as Preventive Agents for Migraine

Review Article

DOI: 10.2165/11310970-000000000-00000

Cite this article as:
Vikelis, M. & Rapoport, A.M. CNS Drugs (2010) 24: 21. doi:10.2165/11310970-000000000-00000


Migraine is a common neurological disease affecting about 12% of the population in Western Europe and North America, and causing a considerable burden both to migraineurs and to society. Severe, frequent and disabling migraine attacks, as well as those poorly responsive to acute care medication, require preventive treatment, which is often under-utilized. Antiepileptic drugs are used in the prevention of migraine.

We performed a literature search of PubMed through June 2008 for controlled trials of antiepileptic drugs in the prevention of migraine. The search identified 70 papers for a full-text review. The majority of these papers referred to valproate and topiramate, and showed that these drugs are effective and well tolerated in migraine prevention and are suitable for first-line clinical use. On the other hand, acetazolamide, lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine and vigabatrin have been shown to be not effective and gabapentin requires further evaluation. For the rest of the antiepileptic drugs, no data from controlled trials are available.

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Headache Outpatient ClinicAthens Naval HospitalAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyThe David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)Los AngelesUSA
  3. 3.GlyfadaGreece