Background: Migraine may be described as a headache with moderate to extreme pain
that is often accompanied by incapacitating neurological symptoms. It is estimated that 12% of the
world population suffers from migraine. Although a number of drugs have been used for treatment
of migraine, most of these are not effective for every patient and may have undesirable side-effects.
Thus, there is an enormous unmet need in current migraine therapy for discovering safer and more
Methods: The information summarized in this review was obtained through extensive literature
review and search of relevant books and articles with the use of Web of Knowledge and SciVerse
Results: Greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the etiopathogenesis of
migraine is helpful in identifying novel targets for antimigraine drugs such as cannabinoid, histamine,
and melatonin receptors. In the past, natural product-derived constituents have served as an
invaluable source of numerous medicinally useful antimigraine agents and it may be expected that
further promising drug candidates from natural products will be discovered for antimigraine pharmacotherapy
with better efficacy and fewer adverse-effects.
Conclusion: The discovery of novel targets in migraine therapy has opened new horizons for compounds
that have not been clinically tested or that previously failed in clinical trials as potential antimigraine
drugs. Ginkgolide B, melatonin, histamine, oxytocin, various ribosomal peptide toxins,
kavalactones, devil’s claw-derived compounds, salvinorin A and petasin are among those agents that
show considerable promise as novel drugs in migraine prevention and treatment. It is necessary to
conduct more research to better understand their antimigraine action, to confirm their effectiveness
and safety, and to introduce them into clinical practice.