Therapeutic AreaFormulary ChoicesCost for 28
(unless otherwise stated)
Rationale for decision / comments
Acute management of migraineRelated information
CKS treatments of acute migraine
CKS prevention of migraine

Migraine Trust - Acute medicines
NICE recommends not using ergots or opioids for acute treatment of migraine
Simple analgesiaAspirin
Green cross
300mg dispersible tablets:
£3.13 (100)
Evidence supports the efficacy of Aspirin at a dose of 900mg for acute migraine. Available OTC.
Green cross
200mg tablets: £3.19 (84)
400mg tablets: £3.64 (84)
600mg tablets: £5.77 (84)
For severe headache 400mg dose recommended. 200mg and 400mg tablets available OTC.
Green cross
500mg tablets: £2.19 (100)Soluble preparations may have a role for occasional use but have high sodium content. Available OTC. Recommended dose 1000mg.
Simple analgesia
plus anti-emetic prescribed separately
As above plusPrice as aboveAnalgesic plus anti-emetic combinations are the second line therapy option when simple analgesia alone has proved inadequate. Combination products eg. Migramax® are significantly more expensive than separate prescriptions, one component of which is available OTC.
Domperidone10mg tablets: £1.00 (30)
Affects QT .Maximum dose 10mg tds in adults and adolescents weighing 35k or more. Avoid in moderate-severe liver function and in patients with severe underlying heart problems
Drug Safety Update May 2014: Domperidone: risks of cardiac side effects
Metoclopramide10mg tablets: £0.76Metoclopramide causes more acute dystonic reactions than domperidone particularly in younger patients. Maximum 5 day treatment period. MHRA warning
Prochlorperazine5mg tablets: £0.85Prochlorperazine 3mg Buccal tabs are non formulary due to very high cost
TriptansSumatriptan50mg tablets: £2.29 (6)
100mg tablets: £2.97 (6)

3mg/0.5ml pre-filled pen (2) £39.50
6mg/0.5ml pre-filled pen (2) £51.02
Sumatripan is included as the most cost-effective triptan. Evidence suggests little additional benefit from doses above 50mg. If patients have been initiated on injectable forms, a trial of oral sumatriptan is recommended

2.5mg: £4.48 (6)
2.5mg £5.74 (6)

2.5mg tablets: £9.10 (6)
5mg tablets: £3.60 (6)
There is no evidence that oro-dispersible formulations have a faster onset of action than conventional tablets.
Zolmitriptan2.5mg oro-disp £12.55 (6)
5mg oro-disp £13.64 (6)
Prophylaxis of migraineConsider prophylaxis when more than one or two attacks occur per month. See BNF for details.
The need for continuing migraine prophylaxis should be reviewed 6 months after starting.
Induction of drug overuse headache is possible for all triptans.
Risk becomes significant at 12 days per month of triptan intake, mean onest occurs after 1.7 years use.
First-line:Propranolol10mg tablets: £1.69
40mg tablets: £1.65
80mg tablets: £2.66 (56)
Propranolol is the recommended first line prophylactic therapy for migraine.
Avoid using Propranolol MR products as significantly higher cost: Inderal-LA®(£1.91 pack of 28) and Half-Inderal LA® (£5.40 pack of 28).
Second-line:Topiramate tablets25mg tablets: £5.98 (60)
50mg tablets: £10.62 (60)
100mg tablets: £16.70 (60)
200mg tablets: £14.00 (60)
Topiramate is effective for migraine prophylaxis. Advise women & girls of childbearing potential that topiramate is associated with a risk of foetal malformations & can impair the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives. Ensure they are offered suitable contraception.
Prescribe as tablet formulation not capsule because of large price difference
Third-line:Amitriptyline10mg tablets: £1.01
25mg tablets: £0.87
50mg tablets: £2.28
NICE CG150 states that people whose migraine is well controlled with amitriptyline should continue their current treatment.

Diagnosis of Tension-type healache, migraine & cluster headacheMedication Recommendation from NICE CG150 Headache

Please disregard the gabapentin recommendation above. Not now recommended