Candesartan seems to reduce incidences of migraines just as well as Propranolol (1)
Hope comes for migraineurs via a new study conducted by St. Olavs Hospital in Trondheim, Norway and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Migraine patients who have been prescribed propranolol, (a popular beta-blocker that also doubles up to reduce the number and severity of migraine episodes) as a migraine prophylactic but get no relief from taking it can now breathe a sigh of relief as the study demonstrates that chemical candesartan proves as if not more effective for migraine prophylaxis.
Though the theory of candesartan working as an effective migraine prophylactic had been propounded more than a decade ago, it has been proved only now that the drug actually works. In the study, the placebo administered showed a 20% ‘feel-better’ on patients but administering of candesartan exhibited an additional 20-30% patients’ ‘feel-better’. (2)
Candesartan is a blocker of the angiotensin II receptor. Angiotensin is a peptide hormone that constricts blood vessels causing the blood pressure to rise and the heart to pump blood harder. Blocking receptors that receive angiotensin hormone helps relax/dilate the blood vessels thereby lowering blood pressure and easing the heartbeat. (3)
The study which examined 72 migraineurs who had migraines at least twice every month, was a triple blind test in which neither neither patients nor doctors nor those who analyzed the results knew whether the patients had been given placebo or real medicine. The patients used each treatment (candesartan, propranolol or placebo) for 12 weeks, and also underwent four weeks before start and between the treatment periods without any medication at all. Thus every patient was part of the study for almost a year.
According to Professor Lars Jacob Stovner, leader of Norwegian National Headache Centre, “This gives doctors more possibilities and we can help more people.” (4)
Common side effects of candesartan are: dizziness, fatigue, abdominal discomfort, headache and reduced renal functions.
Atacand (AstraZeneca), Cipsartan (Cipla) are some popular brand names under which Candesartan is sold. Propranolol on the other hand is sold under the brand names Inderal, Inderal LA, InnoPran etc.
- Image Credit: Cipsartan-16 (Candesartan Cilexetil Tablets 16 mg) from Cipla; pharmacywebstore.com; Web January 2014; http://bit.ly/1aqwpIO
- New Hope for Migraine Sufferers; ScienceDaily.com; Web January 2014; http://sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140113104841.htm
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers; Diseases and Conditions; Mayo Clinic; Web January 2014; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/angiotensin-ii-receptor-blockers/art-20045009
- University of Science And Technology – News’ Web January 2014; http://www.ntnu.edu/news/2014/migraine-help
For more details of the study, please visit:
A Comparative Study Of Candesartan Versus Propranolol For Migraine Prophylaxis: A Randomised, Triple-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Double Cross-Over Study; Sage Journals – Cephalagia; Web January 2014; http://cep.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/12/11/0333102413515348
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