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Postmarketing study of the use of flunarizine in vestibular vertigo and in migraine.

OBJECTIVE: This international postmarketing observational study of flunarizine was designed to evaluate, in routine clinical practice, the risk/benefit ratio of flunarizine in its approved indications, namely prophylaxis of migraine and treatment of vertigo. Comparator drugs were propranolol in migraine and betahistine in vertigo. The study was carried out by 498 general practitioners in Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany, whose participation had been requested by mail. In total 3186 patients were entered: 1601 in the two migraine cohorts and 1585 in the two vertigo cohorts. RESULTS: In the migraine study, treatment results with propranolol tended to be somewhat better than those with flunarizine, but a selection bias cannot be excluded. There was no clear difference regarding efficacy between flunarizine and betahistine in the vertigo study. The safety evaluation focused on extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) and depression. Overall, EPS were noted in only four patients, two in the vertigo-betahistine and two in the migraine-flunarizine cohort. A total of 70 patients developed depressive symptoms (34 in the flunarizine and 24 in the propranolol migraine cohorts, but only 7 in the flunarizine and 5 in the betahistine vertigo cohorts). Patients with migraine were clearly more prone to depression than patients with vertigo, regardless of their treatment. Additional risk factors for depression were a history of depression, and, in the migraine flunarizine cohort, a high number of previous migraine treatments.[1]

References

  1. Postmarketing study of the use of flunarizine in vestibular vertigo and in migraine. Verspeelt, J., De Locht, P., Amery, W.K. Eur. J. Clin. Pharmacol. (1996) [Pubmed]
 
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