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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) for the prevention of migraine in adults

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (94th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (74th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
27 tweeters
1 Facebook page
2 Wikipedia pages


44 Dimensions

Readers on

264 Mendeley
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) for the prevention of migraine in adults
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd002919.pub3
Pubmed ID

Rita Banzi, Cristina Cusi, Concetta Randazzo, Roberto Sterzi, Dario Tedesco, Lorenzo Moja


This is an updated version of the original Cochrane review published in 2005 on selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for preventing migraine and tension-type headache. The original review has been split in two parts and this review now only regards migraine prevention. Another updated review is under development to cover tension-type headache.Migraine is a common disorder. The chronic forms are associated with disability and have a high economic impact. In view of discoveries about the role of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in pain mechanisms, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) have been evaluated for the prevention of migraine. To determine the efficacy and tolerability of SSRIs and SNRIs compared to placebo and other active interventions in the prevention of episodic and chronic migraine in adults. For the original review, we searched MEDLINE (1966 to January 2004), EMBASE (1994 to May 2003), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL 2003, Issue 4), and Headache Quarterly (1990 to 2003). For this update, we applied a revised search strategy to reflect the broader type of intervention (SSRIs and SNRIs). We searched CENTRAL (2014, Issue 10), MEDLINE (1946 to November 2014), EMBASE (1980 to November 2014), and PsycINFO (1987 to November 2014). We also checked the reference lists of retrieved articles and searched trial registries for ongoing trials. We included randomised controlled trials comparing SSRIs or SNRIs with any type of control intervention in participants 18 years and older of either sex with migraine. Two authors independently extracted data (migraine frequency, index, intensity, and duration; use of symptomatic/analgesic medication; days off work; quality of life; mood improvement; cost-effectiveness; and adverse events) and assessed the risk of bias of trials. The primary outcome of this updated review is migraine frequency. The original review included eight studies on migraine. Overall, we now include 11 studies on five SSRIs and one SNRI with a total of 585 participants. Six studies were placebo-controlled, four compared a SSRI or SNRI to amitriptyline, and one was a head-to-head comparison (escitalopram versus venlafaxine). Most studies had methodological or reporting shortcomings (or both): all studies were at unclear risk of selection and reporting bias. Follow-up rarely extended beyond three months. The lack of adequate power of most of the studies is also a major concern.Few studies explored the effect of SSRIs or SNRIs on migraine frequency, the primary endpoint. Two studies with unclear reporting compared SSRIs and SNRIs to placebo, suggesting a lack of evidence for a difference. Two studies compared SSRIs or SNRIs versus amitriptyline and found no evidence for a difference in terms of migraine frequency (standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.72 to 0.80; I(2) = 72%), or other secondary outcomes such as migraine intensity and duration.SSRIs or SNRIs were generally more tolerable than tricyclics. However, the two groups did not differ in terms of the number of participants who withdrew due to adverse advents or for other reasons (one study, odds ratio (OR) 0.39, 95% CI 0.10 to 1.50 and OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.13 to 1.34).We did not find studies comparing SSRIs or SNRIs with pharmacological treatments other than antidepressants (e.g. antiepileptics and anti-hypertensives). Since the last version of this review, the new included studies have not added high quality evidence to support the use of SSRIs or venlafaxine as preventive drugs for migraine. There is no evidence to consider SSRIs or venlafaxine as more effective than placebo or amitriptyline in reducing migraine frequency, intensity, and duration over two to three months of treatment. No reliable information is available at longer-term follow-up. Our conclusion is that the use of SSRIs and SNRIs for migraine prophylaxis is not supported by evidence.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 27 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 264 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Netherlands 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Denmark 1 <1%
Unknown 261 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 43 16%
Student > Bachelor 33 13%
Researcher 24 9%
Student > Ph. D. Student 21 8%
Student > Postgraduate 16 6%
Other 47 18%
Unknown 80 30%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 76 29%
Nursing and Health Professions 21 8%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 18 7%
Neuroscience 15 6%
Psychology 11 4%
Other 31 12%
Unknown 92 35%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 30. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 18 August 2022.
All research outputs
of 23,398,349 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,684 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 265,841 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 263 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 23,398,349 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 95th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,684 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 33.0. This one has done well, scoring higher than 79% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 265,841 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 263 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 74% of its contemporaries.