Clinical and vascular responses to propranolol and candesartan in migraine patients: A randomized controlled clinical trial
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Original versionCephalalgia Reports. 2020, 3 1-8. 10.1177/2515816320946491
Background: Both propranolol and candesartan are prophylactic drugs for migraine, but with unknown mechanisms of action. The objectives of the present study were to investigate these drugs’ effects on arterial wall dynamics and the potential relation between their vascular and clinical effect. Methods: The study was based on data from a previously published randomized, placebo-controlled, triple-blinded, double crossover clinical trial comparing the prophylactic effects of candesartan and propranolol in 72 patients. Finapres noninvasive blood pressure curves were analyzed. On the descending limb of the pulse curve, a notch is produced by pulse wave reflection, and its relative height compared to the top of the curve (the notch ratio) was used as a marker of arterial wall stiffness. Results: Candesartan decreased the notch ratio from baseline (p = 0.005), reflecting more compliant arteries and vasodilation, whereas propranolol increased the notch ratio (p = 0.005), reflecting less compliant arteries and vasoconstriction. There was no difference in baseline notch ratio between clinical responders and nonresponders. Conclusion: The drugs are both efficient prophylactic medications, yet they have opposite effects on arterial wall dynamics. This suggests that drug effects other than those on arterial compliance must be responsible for their prophylactic effect in migraine.