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Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Jun 2024 - 5 Jul 2024

2024 Jul 03



Situational prevention: Pharmacotherapy during periods of increased risk for migraine attacks.


Lipton RB, Ailani J, Mullin K, Pavlovic JM, Tepper SJ, Dodick DW, Blumenfeld AM


The small molecule calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor antagonists (gepants) are the only drug class with medicines indicated for both the acute and preventive treatment of migraine. Given this dual capacity to both treat and prevent, along with their favorable tolerability profiles and lack of an association with medication-overuse headache, headache specialists have begun to use gepants in ways that transcend the traditional categories of acute and preventive treatment. One approach, called situational prevention, directs patients to treat during the interictal phase, before symptoms develop, in situations of increased risk for migraine attacks. Herein, we present three patients to illustrate scenarios of gepant use for situational prevention. In each case, a gepant was started in anticipation of a period of increased headache probability (vulnerability) and continued for a duration of 1 day to 5 consecutive days. Although this approach may expose patients to medication when headache may not have developed, the tolerability and safety profile and preventive effect of gepants may represent a feasible approach for some patients. Situational prevention is an emerging strategy for managing migraine before symptoms develop in individuals who can identify periods when the probability of headache is high. This paper is intended to increase awareness of this strategy and stimulate future randomized, placebo-controlled trials to rigorously assess this strategy.