Preventive and abortive treatment of migraine with traditional drugs. The state of the art




Migraine, Treatment, Preventive treatment, Abortive treatment


Migraine is a chronic neurological disease, with a prevalence of 15.2% in Brazil. It is 2.2 times more prevalent in women, predominantly in the 18-50 age group. Its pathophysiological mechanism is still not completely understood. Possibly headache attacks and symptoms are associated with cortical spreading depression, the trigeminovascular system, neurogenic inflammation, vasodilation and genetic vulnerability.
This is a narrative review of preventive and abortive treatment of migraine.
Migraine treatment is based on three pillars: patient education, treatment of the disease itself or prevention of attacks, and acute treatment of headache attacks. The therapeutic classes of traditional drugs used in migraine prevention are beta-blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, calcium channel antagonists or blockers, and anticonvulsant neuromodulators. Specific drugs used in the treatment of headache attacks are triptans or serotonergic 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonists, ditans or 5-HT1F receptor agonists, and gepants or CGRP receptor antagonists.
Traditional drugs used in the preventive or abortive treatment of migraine are considered to be effective. Through modulation of the disease mechanisms, there is a reduction in the frequency, intensity and duration of headache attacks, and also in the disability caused by the headache. All this to improve the quality of life of patients. The therapeutic classes of traditional drugs used in migraine prevention are beta-blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, antagonists or blockers of calcium channels and anticonvulsant neuromodulators. Specific drugs used in the treatment of headache attacks are triptans or serotonergic 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonists,ditans or 5-HT1F receptor agonists, and gepants or CGRP receptor antagonists.


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How to Cite

Silva-Néto RP, Jevoux C, Krymchantowski A. Preventive and abortive treatment of migraine with traditional drugs. The state of the art. Headache Med [Internet]. 2023 Sep. 30 [cited 2024 May 28];14(3):133-4. Available from:




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