Histamine-1 receptor blockade does not prevent nitroglycerin induced migraine. Support for the NO-hypothesis of migraine

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

It has previously been shown that in migraine sufferers infusion of glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) and histamine causes an immediate headache during the infusion and a genuine migraine attack one to several hours after the infusion. This identical time profile indicates a common mechanism of action. To evaluate whether GTN causes headache via liberation of histamine, we studied the effect of GTN 0.5 micrograms.kg-1.min-1 for 20 min in seven migraine sufferers, once after pretreatment with the histamine-1 (H1)-receptor blocker mepyramine (0.5 mg.kg-1) and once without pretreatment. This mepyramine dose is known to completely abolish histamine-induced headache. After pretreatment with mepyramine five patients experienced migraine, and without pretreatment six patients did so. The median peak headache score was 7 on a 0-10 scale with and without mepyramine pretreatment. The arterial responses, evaluated with transcranial Doppler, were also unaffected by the mepyramine pretreatment. Our results demonstrate that neither headache nor arterial dilatation due to GTN infusion is caused by histamine release. In all likelihood the common mediator of migraine induction by GTN and histamine is nitric oxide.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)335-9
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1996

    Research areas

  • Adult, Analysis of Variance, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Cross-Over Studies, Female, Hemodynamics, Histamine H1 Antagonists, Histamine Release, Humans, Infusion Pumps, Infusions, Intravenous, Male, Middle Aged, Migraine Disorders, Nitroglycerin, Pyrilamine, Ultrasonography, Doppler, Transcranial, Vasodilator Agents

ID: 128984022