August 24, 2007 / 8:32 PM / 12 years ago

Frovatriptan may prevent puncture-related headache

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Frovatriptan, used to prevent and treat migraine headaches, may also be of use in preventing post-dural puncture headache, according to Italian researchers.

In the journal Cephalalgia, Dr. Gennaro Bussone of Istituto Nazionale Neurologico Carlo Besta, Milan and colleagues note that post-dural puncture headache is associated with the loss of CSF following dural puncture and subsequent shifts in cranial contents.

Depending on factors such as age and the type of needle employed, post-dural puncture headache may be experienced by as many as 40 percent of patients undergoing diagnostic lumbar puncture.

To investigate whether frovatriptan (sold under the trade name Frova) might be useful in the prevention of such headaches, the researchers conducted an open-label pilot study of 50 in-patients scheduled for diagnostic lumbar puncture.

They were given 2.5 mg of frovatriptan for 5 days after the procedure. In all, only 7 of patients (14 percent) had post-dural puncture headache and symptoms were mild. Most episodes occurred in the first few days.

The researchers note that the use of an atraumatic needle by itself would have reduced the incidence of post-dural puncture headache. Nevertheless, they conclude, their findings suggest frovatriptan can be effective, and they recommend that this should be tested in a randomized, controlled, double-blind study.

SOURCE: Cephalalgia, July 2007.

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