Network Meta-analysis of Different Treatments for Vestibular Migraine

Jiann Jy Chen, Bing Syuan Zeng, Kuan Pin Su, Yi Cheng Wu, Yu Kang Tu, Brendon Stubbs, Tien Yu Chen, Bing Yan Zeng, Yen Wen Chen, Chih Wei Hsu*, Ping Tao Tseng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Although one of the major presentations of vestibular migraine is dizziness with/without unsteady gait, it is still classified as one of the migraine categories. However, in contrast to ordinary migraine, vestibular migraine patients have distinct characteristics, and the detailed treatment strategy for vestibular migraine is different and more challenging than ordinary migraine treatment. Currently, there is no conclusive evidence regarding its management, including vestibular migraine prophylaxis. Aim: The objective of this current network meta-analysis (NMA) was to compare the efficacy and acceptability of individual treatment strategies in patients with vestibular migraine. Methods: The PubMed, Embase, ScienceDirect, ProQuest, Web of Science, ClinicalKey, Cochrane Central, and databases were systematically searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs), with a final literature search date of 30 December 2022. Patients diagnosed with vestibular migraine were included. The PICO of the current study included (1) patients with vestibular migraine; (2) intervention: any active pharmacologic or non-pharmacologic intervention; (3) comparator: placebo-control, active control, or waiting list; and (4) outcome: changes in migraine frequency or severity. This NMA of RCTs of vestibular migraine treatment was conducted using a frequentist model. We arranged inconsistency and similarity tests to re-examine the assumption of NMA, and also conducted a subgroup analysis focusing on RCTs of pharmacological treatment for vestibular migraine management. The primary outcome was changes in the frequency of vestibular migraines, while the secondary outcomes were changes in vestibular migraine severity and acceptability. Acceptability was set as the dropout rate, which was defined as the participant leaving the study before the end of the trial for any reason. Two authors independently evaluated the risk of bias for each domain using the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool. Results: Seven randomized controlled trials (N = 828, mean age 37.6 years, 78.4% female) and seven active regimens were included. We determined that only valproic acid (standardized mean difference [SMD] −1.61, 95% confidence interval [CI] −2.69, −0.54), propranolol (SMD −1.36, 95% CI −2.55, −0.17), and venlafaxine (SMD −1.25, 95% CI −2.32, −0.18) were significantly associated with better improvement in vestibular migraine frequency than the placebo/control groups. Furthermore, among all the investigated pharmacologic/non-pharmacologic treatments, valproic acid yielded the greatest decrease in vestibular migraine frequency among all the interventions. In addition, most pharmacologic/non-pharmacologic treatments were associated with similar acceptability (i.e. dropout rate) as those of the placebo/control groups. Conclusions: The current study provides evidence that only valproic acid, propranolol, and venlafaxine might be associated with beneficial efficacy in vestibular migraine treatment. Trial registration: CRD42023388343.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-847
Number of pages11
JournalCNS Drugs
Issue number9
StatePublished - 09 2023

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