Neuroleptics and Migraine
William B. Young.
Many dopamine antagonists are proven acute migraine treatments. Genetic studies also imply that polymorphisms in dopamine genes (DRD2 receptors) in persons with migraine may create dopamine hypersensitivity. However, treatment is limited by the adverse event profiles of conventional neuroleptics including extrapyramidal symtoms, anticholinergic and antihistaminergic effects, hyperprolactinemia, and prolonged cardiac QT interval. Atypical neuroleptics cause less extrapyramial symptoms and some atypical neuroleptics, including olanzapine and quetiapine, may be beneficial as both acute and preventive migraine treatment. The combination of prochlorperazine, indomethacin, and caffeine is effective in the treatment of the acute migraine attack. The mechanism of action by which neuroleptics relieve headache is probably related to dopamine D2 receptor antagonist. Other actions via serotonin (5HT) receptor antagonists may also be important, particularly for migraine prevention. Additional studies to clarify the mechanism of action of neuroleptics in migraine could lead to new drugs and better management of migraine.
Keywords: Neuroleptics, dopamine antagonists, migraine, headache
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