A Comparative Effectiveness Meta-Analysis of Drugs for the Prophylaxis of Migraine Headache
BACKGROUND Topiramate is an antiepileptic drug that has been approved for migraine prophylaxis. Despite appropriate efficacy for migraine prophylaxis, some patients cannot tolerate its adverse effects. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of zonisamide, another antiepileptic drug, with topiramate in decreasing the frequency and severity of migraine attacks to determine whether it could be used as an alternative for noncompliant patients to topiramate. METHODS Eighty patients, recruited from referred migraineurs to our neurology clinic, who met the diagnosis and inclusion criteria were allocated randomly to group A (50-mg/d zonisamide, gradually titrated up to 200 mg/d) and group B (25-mg/d topiramate, gradually titrated up to 100 mg/d). Each patient was followed for 12 weeks and was assessed at entrance, in the fourth week and twelfth week for frequency of attacks, headache severity, need for acute medication, migraine disability assessment score, and adverse effects. A P < 0.05 was considered as the level of significant difference in all tests. RESULTS Both drugs caused a significant decrease in frequency, severity, need for acute medication in migraine attacks, and migraine disability assessment score (P < 0.05). Except headache severity that was reduced significantly better by zonisamide (P < 0.008), there were no significant difference between the 2 groups in other items. Except for 2 cases of intolerable paresthesia, both drugs were tolerated well during the study. CONCLUSION Our results indicated that zonisamide is as effective as topiramate in migraine prophylaxis and can be considered as an alternative treatment when topiramate is not tolerated well.