Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Aspirin for Migraine Headache
There are many expensive and complicated treatments for people who suffer from migraine headaches but a new literature review shows that a single dose of 1000mg aspirin is effective for more than half of all patients. Compared with placebo, aspirin reduced associated symptoms of nausea, vomiting, photophobia (lights) and phonophobia (sounds) and made severe or moderate pain into no pain after two hours in 24% of patients. Fifty two percent of patients reduced severe pain to no worse than mild pain by 2 hours after taking the aspirin and headache relieve was sustained for 24 hours more often with aspirin than placebo.
For patients who have migraine associated nausea, adding metoclopramide aka Reglan (an old fashioned medicine that can even be used in pregnancy) to aspirin significantly reduced nausea.
This study, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, is good news because it shows that inexpensive over- the -counter medication can help a large group of migraine sufferers. A normal size aspirin is 325mg and most folks don't take more than 2 at a time. For people with migraine headaches, it is worth trying 3 at a time to see if it will abort the pain.
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 10:03 PM