London, Jan 14: A medication originally used to treat high blood pressure may help you from migraine pain attacks.
Candesartan – a drug used to treat high blood pressure – is just as effective as the commonly prescribed propranolol for migraine sufferers, according to a study.
The researchers also found that candesartan may work for patients who get no relief from propranolol.
“This gives doctors more possibilities and we can help more people,” said professor Lars Jacob Stovner, from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
“Candesartan is already in use by several doctors as a migraine preventive medicine but our follow-up study provides the proof that the drug actually works as a treatment,” said the researchers.
The NTNU study was a triple blind test, which means that neither patients nor doctors nor those who analysed the results knew whether the patients had been given placebo or real medicine, Stovner said.
Researchers tested both candesartan and propranolol in 72 patients.
These patients were normally affected by migraine attacks at least twice every month.
The patients used each treatment (candesartan, propranolol or placebo) for 12 weeks.
More than 20 percent of migraine patients reported that they feel better even when they are given a placebo.
But blind tests show that candesartan works preventively for another 20 to 30 percent of patients.
“The hope is now that candesartan will be even more commonly prescribed,” said Stovner.
Migraines are thought to affect a staggering one billion people worldwide.