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Feverfew extract can reduce migraine frequency

MigraineNov 29, 05

A stable extract of the popular herbal remedy feverfew, called MIG-99, appears to be particularly effective in preventing migraine, German researchers report in the current issue of Cephalagia.

“Feverfew in the form of MIG-99 is an effective and safe prophylactic treatment of frequent migraine attacks,” said lead investigator Dr. Hans-Christoph Diener.

Diener of the University of Essen and colleagues note that feverfew has traditionally been used to treat migraine, and clinical trials of the powdered herb have shown promising results.

However, tests using extracts of feverfew have been less successful. The MIG-99 formulation was developed to provide an enriched and stable product.

To evaluate the agent, the researchers conducted a trial with 170 migraine patients. At the beginning of the trial, the average migraine frequency was approximately five attacks over a 4-week period.

The subjects were randomly assigned to treatment with MIG-99, three times a day or to placebo, or “sugar pill,” for up to 16 weeks.

In the MIG-99 treatment group, migraine frequency declined by two attacks per month. In the placebo patients, the corresponding decrease was only one per month.

Possible medication-related adverse events occurred in about 8.4 percent of MIG-99 patients and 10.2 percent of placebo patients.

The researchers point out that further analysis of responder rates revealed that MIG-99 was 3.4-times more effective than placebo. They therefore conclude that the extract is effective and has a favorable benefit-risk ratio.

SOURCE: Cephalalgia, November 2005.

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