More Frequent Migraines During Peri-menopause: Study

Menopause and Migraines

Study Shows Increase In Attacks During Menopause Transition (1)

A first of it’s kind study conducted by researchers at the University of Cincinnati Headache and Facial Pain Program shows conclusive proof that there is a recordable increase in the number of migraine episodes in women undergoing peri-menopause.

Peri-menopause is a phase of transitioning menopause. It could begin several months to years before actual menopause and is characterized by the woman experiencing some or all of symptoms such as irregular periods, fatigue, hot flashes, memory lapses, dry vagina, loss of libido, thinning of bones, incontinence, mood swings and breast tenderness etc. (2) All this is caused primarily due to the drop in the levels of female reproductive hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.

It was seen that headache instances rose during both peri-menopause and menopause when compared to pre-menopause. Pre-menopause was characterized by regular periods. As per Vincent T. Martin, M.D who is a professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati, “Ours is the first study to demonstrate that the frequency of migraine attacks increases during the menopausal transition. The results of our study validate the belief by many women that their headaches worsen during the transition into menopause” (3)

Summary of the research study is as follows:

Particulars Numbers Comments
Total Women studied 3,603
Age range (women) 35 -65 years
Group classification
  1. High Frequency >10 episodes a month
  2. Low-Mod frequency < 10 attacks a month
Analysis classification
  1. 34% – premenopausal
  2. 35% – perimenopausal
  3. 30% – menopausal
  4. High Freq was 50-60% more common in perimenpausal and menopausal women

 

According to Richard B. Lipton, M.D., professor of Neurology and director of the Montefiore Headache Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, “Given that migraines tend to worsen during menstruation, it may seem paradoxical that when periods become irregular during the peri-menopause or absent during menopause that headache become more frequent. We believe that both declining estrogen levels that occur at the time of menstruation as well as low estrogen levels that are encountered during the menopause are triggers of migraine in some women.” (3)

SOURCES

  1. Young Woman Suffering From Headache By Stock Images; FreeDigitalPhotos; Web August 2014; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/young-woman-suffering-from-headache-photo-p171720
  2. Menopause Health Center – Perimenopause; Web MD; Web August 2014; http://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/guide-perimenopause
  3. Women with Migraines Experience More Headaches During The Menopausal Transition; Science Daily News; Web August 2014; sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624215851.htm

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Candesartan Gives Migraineurs New Hope: Study

cipsartan16mg

 

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.

SOURCES

  1. Image Credit: Cipsartan-16 (Candesartan Cilexetil Tablets 16 mg) from Cipla; pharmacywebstore.com; Web January 2014; http://bit.ly/1aqwpIO
  2. New Hope for Migraine Sufferers; ScienceDaily.com; Web January 2014; http://sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140113104841.htm
  3. 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
  4. 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

Copyrights apply to this blog. Please refer copyright permissions.