Cutaneous application of menthol 10% solution on temporal area in acute treatment of common migraine


Afshin Borhanihaghighi 1 , * , Somayeh Motazedian 2 , Sahar Pourmokhtari 2 , Shahin Khodaie 2 , Faranak Mohammadi 2 , Raziyeh Rezaei 2 , Leyla Salarian 2 , Zahra Shiravani 2 , Alireza Ziaei 2 , Siavash Hekmati 2

1 Assistant Professor Department of Neurology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

2 Medical Student, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

How to Cite: Borhanihaghighi A, Motazedian S, Pourmokhtari S, Khodaie S, Mohammadi F, et al. Cutaneous application of menthol 10% solution on temporal area in acute treatment of common migraine, Hormozgan Med J. 2008 ; 12(2):e88939.


Hormozgan Medical Journal: 12 (2); e88939
Published Online: February 04, 2008
Article Type: Research Article
Received: December 31, 2006
Accepted: February 04, 2008




Introduction: Migraine as the most popular vascular headache has always been
the topic of discussion in the medical literatures. Regarding the theories
underlying pathophysiology of migraine, various methods for treatment of this
disorder have been proposed. Menthol is the most important active agent in
peppermint and various mechanisms of action for it have been proposed till now,
many of them focused on it's analgesic effect through TRPMs, a group of the
transient receptor protein TRP. In previous interventional studies also, a solution
of peppermint extract in ethanol significantly reduced the clinical tension type
headache intensity.
Regarding numerous therapeutic effects of menthol, we performed this study to
evaluate the effect of cutaneous application of menthol on reducing headache
intensity in migraine acute attacks.
Methods: Twenty five female patients enrolled in this interventional uncontrolled
study. They all used the 10% menthol solution the way they were informed.
During the consumption, they filled out some questionnaires containing
information about intensity of headache and associated symptoms.
Results: Within 33 well recorded attacks of migraine, 50% relief of pain
occurred after 1.85 hours and sustained pain-free efficacy was achieved after 6.76
hours. Seventy one percent of migraine patients who had nausea/vomiting and
43% of those who were suffering from photophobia and phonophobia associated
with headache became symptom-free after 2 hours.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that cutaneous consumption of 10%
menthol in ethanol solution is well tolerated by the patients and relieves the pain
and associated symptoms. However, further controlled studies are needed to
confirm these observations.


Headache – Migrane - Menthol

© 2008, Hormozgan Medical Journal. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.



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