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Frovatriptan: a review of pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and clinical potential in the treatment of menstrual migraine

Authors Ebrahim A Balbisi

Published 15 September 2006 Volume 2006:2(3) Pages 303—308

Ebrahim A Balbisi


St. John’s University, College Of Pharmacy & Allied Health Professions, Jamaica, New York, USA; Ambulatory Medicine, Queens Hospital Center, Jamaica, New York, USA


Abstract: Frovatriptan is an orally active 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptor agonist which binds with high affinity to 5-HT1B and 5-HT1D receptors. Earlier clinical trials demonstrated that frovatriptan 2.5 mg is significantly more effective than placebo in the acute management of migraine and its associated symptoms. More recently, frovatriptan was shown to be effective in the management of menstrual migraine. The incidence of menstrual migraine in subjects receiving frovatriptan 2.5 mg twice daily during the six day perimenstrual period was 41% compared with 67% with placebo. Frovatriptan treatment is generally well tolerated. The most commonly reported adverse effects were dizziness, paresthesia, dry mouth, and fatigue. Pharmacologic studies demonstrated that frovatriptan is cerebroselective. Its selectivity for cerebral vessels lessens the potential for undesirable peripheral effects. Frovatriptan has a terminal deposition half-life of approximately 26 hours, which appears to be independent of age, gender, and renal function. This imparts that frovatriptan may be particularly well suited to patients with prolonged migraines and those who suffer migraine recurrence. Frovatriptan does not alter cytochrome P450 (CYP450) isoenzymes, as such it is unlikely to affect the metabolism of other drugs. No dosage adjustments are necessary based on age, renal, or mild to moderate hepatic impairment. Apart from its efficacy in the acute management of migraine, frovatriptan is an effective agent when used as either acute therapy or as intermittent prophylaxis therapy of menstrual migraines, particularly in women who do not respond to conventional therapies.


Keywords: migraine, menstrual migraine, 5-HT1B/1D, receptor agonists, pharmacokinetics, frovatriptan succinate

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