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Trial of Nortriptyline and Topiramate in the Initial Treatment of Vestibular Migraine

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02169830
Recruitment Status : Terminated (Lack of enrollment)
First Posted : June 23, 2014
Last Update Posted : January 18, 2020
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Anthony A. Mikulec, MD, St. Louis University

Brief Summary:

The investigators' study plans to randomize treatment naive patients with vestibular migraine to an 8 week trial of an escalating dose of either nortriptyline or topiramate followed by an 8 week crossover to the other drug if patient is willing, if patient wants to stay on first medication we will just continue to follow. During the first 8 weeks if there is an intolerance to the first drug they can be switched to the other drug at any point and then followed on that medication for the remainder of the study. Response to therapy will be quantified by the Migraine Specific Quality of Life (MSQ) and Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) administered at multiple time points during the study. Three groups of patients that will be eligible for the study will include 1)Patients with Neuhauser dVM; 2)Patients with pVM; and 3) Patients with dizziness that falls outside the Neuhauser criteria (non-Neuhauser vestibular migraine or nNVM).

The investigators' hypothesis is that even patients with dizziness outside of the Neuhauser dVM and pVM spectrum will respond to treatment for vestibular migraine, and thus likely have migraine as a cause of their dizziness. Previous research by our group has suggested that such patients do in fact respond to migraine therapy1. A second goal of the study is to evaluate the comparative efficacy of nortriptyline and topiramate in the treatment of these three subgroups of patients with vestibular migraine.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Migraine Disorders Drug: nortriptyline Drug: Topiramate Not Applicable

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 34 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Prospective Randomized Cross-over Trial of Nortryptyline and Topiramate in the Initial Treatment of Vestibular Migraine.
Actual Study Start Date : May 13, 2014
Actual Primary Completion Date : October 30, 2019
Actual Study Completion Date : October 30, 2019

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: nortriptyline
Diet modification - nortriptyline and then if necessary topiramate
Drug: nortriptyline
The nortriptyline will be given in an escalating fashion, starting at 25 mg PO qhs for 2 weeks, followed by 50 mg PO qhs for 2 weeks, and finally 75 mg PO qhs. Patients will be encouraged to use the lowest effective dose and to self-titrate their medication.
Other Name: Nortriptyline HCI

Active Comparator: topiramate
Diet Modification topiramate and then nortriptyline if necessary
Drug: Topiramate
Topiramate dosing will be 25 mg PO qhs for 1 week, followed by 25 mg BID for 1 week, followed by 25 mg in the morning and 50 mg qhs for 1 week, and finally 50 mg BID
Other Name: Topamax

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. evaluate the comparative effectiveness of migraine diet, nortriptyline and topiramate [ Time Frame: one year ]
    Changes in Migraine Specific Quality of LIfe (MSQ) and Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) between groups

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

-Men and women aged 18 to 70 with untreated vestibular migraine variant as diagnosed by history.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients with allergies to nortriptyline or topiramate and their analogs or medication interactions that preclude their use.
  • Patients under the care of a psychiatrist.
  • Patients who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
  • Patients taking more than 5 prescription medications.
  • Patients with cancer.
  • Patient has a history of immunodeficiency.
  • Patient has a history of substance abuse within the preceding 6 months prior to screening.
  • Patient has used an investigational drug or device in the the 3 months prior to screening.
  • Patient is using marijuana for medical or other uses.
  • Patient has any other clinically significant illness or medical condition that, in the investigator's opinion, would prohibit the subject from participating in the study.
  • Patient with traumatic brain injury.
  • Patients taking Nortriptyline, MAOIs
  • Patients with liver or kidney dysfunction or glaucoma

Due to know drug interactions, patients taking the following medications will be excluded.

Nortriptyline: monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO) such as phenelzine. Patients on oral contraceptives will be asked to use a secondary method as nortriptyline can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

Topiramate: acetazolamide (kidney stones), digoxin

Exclude subjects with liver dysfunction, kidney dysfunction and glaucoma (per the risks associated with topiramate).

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02169830

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United States, Missouri
Saint Louis University
Saint Louis, Missouri, United States, 63110
Sponsors and Collaborators
St. Louis University
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Principal Investigator: Anthony A Mikulec, MD St. Louis University
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Responsible Party: Anthony A. Mikulec, MD, Associate Professor, St. Louis University Identifier: NCT02169830    
Other Study ID Numbers: 24482_ Vest_Migraine
First Posted: June 23, 2014    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 18, 2020
Last Verified: January 2020
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Undecided
Keywords provided by Anthony A. Mikulec, MD, St. Louis University:
vestibular migraines, nortriptyline and topiramate
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Migraine Disorders
Headache Disorders, Primary
Headache Disorders
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Hypoglycemic Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
Antidepressive Agents
Psychotropic Drugs
Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Adrenergic Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents