Possible mechanisms of valproate in migraine prophylaxis

F. M. Cutrer, V. Limmroth, M. A. Moskowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Valproate has been shown to be an effective prophylactic treatment in migraine. Investigation of the mechanism of its antimigraine action is difficult due to the broad range of its biochemical effects and the complex nature of migraine pathophysiology. Valproate increases brain GABA levels and, in doing so, may suppress migraine-related events in the cortex, perivascular parasympathetics or trigeminal nucleus caudalis. There is experimental evidence that it suppresses neurogenic inflammation and directly attenuates nociceptive neurotransmission. In addition, valproate reportedly alters levels of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters and exerts direct effects on neuronal membranes in vitro. Valproate's observed effect may ultimately result from a combination of actions at different loci.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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