Anna Ferrari, Diego Pinetti, Daniela Gallesi, Alfio Bertolini, Grazia Sances, Emilio Sternieri
American Journal of Pharmacological Sciences. 2013, 1(5), 74-79
Publication Date (Web): 24 September 2013DOI:
Abstract: Indomethacin, in combination with prochlorperazine and caffeine (IPC), is often overused by migraine patients who develop medication-overuse headache. Indomethacin clearance is slower in chronic migraine patients overusing IPC combination than in migraine patients only occasionally taking it. The objective of this study was to verify if indomethacin reduced clearance reverted to normal values after withdrawal of the overused IPC combination. Therefore, we repeated the study of indomethacin pharmacokinetics in 9 female chronic migraine patients after 3 months from inpatient withdrawal treatment from IPC combination overuse. The IPC combination (indomethacin 50 mg, prochlorperazine 8 mg, caffeine 150 mg) habitually taken was administered by rectal route to each patient. Blood samples were drawn before dosing and at the following post-dose times: 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 h. Indomethacin concentrations were measured by HPLC method. We found that 4 of 9 patients (group A) who were still overusing the combination and suffering from daily headache had still high indomethacin concentrations after 6 hours, therefore showing a slow elimination of the drug. Instead, in the 5 patients (group B) who had discontinued overuse of IPC combination after withdrawal treatment, indomethacin concentrations after 6 hours were significantly lower than those measured before withdrawal (P < 0.05, Student’s t-test for paired data), and also than those observed in group A (P < 0.05, ANOVA and Newman-Keuls’test). Hence, by suspending IPC abuse indomethacin clearance reverts to normal values and this is associated with an improvement of migraine. Instead, the higher plasma levels of indomethacin in patients who continue IPC abuse do not solve migraine and might support medication-overuse headache.