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Study Concludes Aspirin Effective For Treating Migraines

April 14, 2010

While many migraine sufferers turn to prescription pain medication to relieve symptoms during an attack, a new study suggests that aspirin may be just as effective for dealing with the severe headaches that typically strike once or twice a month.

A recent review completed by the Cochrane Collaboration, an organization comprised of health care specialists that complete randomized product trials, found that “a single dose of 900-1000 mg aspirin can substantially reduce migraine headache pain within two hours, for more than half of people who take it,” according to an April 13 press release.

Furthermore, “It also reduces any associated nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound (photophobia or phonophobia). Formulations of aspirin 900 mg together with 10 mg of the antiemetic metoclopramide are better than placebo at reducing symptoms of nausea and vomiting.”

As part of the Cochrane Systematic Review, the experts reviewed data from 13 different studies with more than 4,200 total participants. What they discovered is that one out of four people suffering from moderate to severe migraine headache pain can eliminate the discomfort within two hours by taking a single dose of 900-1000 mg aspirin, and 52-percent can reduce the pain to mild levels.

“Researchers also found that a combination of aspirin and metoclopramide had a similar effect to 50 mg of the headache treatment sumatriptan (a serotonin agonist), but that a 100 mg dose of sumatriptan was slightly better at delivering a pain free response within two hours of taking the medication,” the press release noted, adding that the Cochrane Collaboration also planned to test the effectiveness of other over-the-counter pain medication in the near future.

According to the National Migraine Association, approximately 36 million Americans, mostly women, suffer from the neurological syndrome. The International Headache Society (IHS) has established seven different subclasses of migraines, which vary based on the symptoms experiences, including visual disturbance, nausea, vomiting, vertigo, ringing in the ears, and seizures.

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