Migraine Medication Midrin and Equivalents - 2/24/15 Update

Patient Expert
Reviewed by
Thinkstock

For several years now, questions about Midrin equivalent medications for migraine have been among the most commonly asked questions. Recently, there have been rumors that brand name Midrin is back on the market. This is just a rumor. Brand name Midrin is not coming back, ever, according to both the manufacturer and the FDA.

Given the interest in this topic and the false information going around, it's time for an update on Midrin, similar medications, and the available medication that's equivalent to Midrin. Brand name Midrin, which was prescribed for tension-type headaches and migraines, contained:

  • acetaminophen, 325 mg: an analgesic
  • isometheptene mucate, 65 mg: a vasoconstrictor that works to constrict dilated cranial and cerebral blood vessels
  • dichloralphenazone, 100 mg: a mild sedative

Prodrin is a similar medication that is still available. It contains two of the three ingredients that were in Midrin, plus caffeine:

  • acetaminophen, 325 mg: an analgesic
  • isometheptene mucate, 65 mg: a vasoconstrictor that works to constrict dilated cranial and cerebral blood vessels
  • caffeine, 20 mg

When Midrin was removed from the market, some patients turned to compounding pharmacies to have a Midrin equivalent medication made up for them. This can still be done, but isn't necessary since there's an equivalent medication available. Not all pharmacists are familiar with it, so if your doctor prescribes it, you can tell your pharmacist that it's made by Macoven Pharmaceuticals in Magnolia, Texas. The label on the prescription bottle for this product generally is marked, "Isometh/Dich/Apap." Some of you have asked how your doctor should write a prescription for this medication, so I asked Dr. David Watson. He suggests that the prescription could be written for Midrin with a note that an equivalent substitution is acceptable. Certainly, if there are any questions about the prescription our doctors could contact our pharmacists for assistance.

The issue with Midrin being withdrawn from the market is a bit complicated. It stems from Midrin having been developed and first marketed prior to the current FDA drug approval process. If you'd like to learn more about it, it's explained in Midrin for Migraine: What's Going On?

The bottom line here is that brand name Midrin is not available and most likely will not be back. Prodrin is similar, but without the dichloralphenazone, doesn't work exactly like Midrin did. Macoven Pharmaceuticals is still producing their medication that has the same components that brand name Midrin had. Since Midrin was classified as a migraine abortive medication, other options are other migraine abortive medications. These include the triptans Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, Amerge, Axert, Relpax, and Frova, as well as their generics and ergotamines such as Migranal Nasal Spray and D.H.E. 45.

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

_Please join us for the 2015 AHMA Patient Conference on June 21, 2015. _

Follow me on     or