September 22, 2010

IV Aspirin for Migraines

(Ivanhoe Newswire) "“ Migraines come on suddenly and sharply, and most medicines aren't effective enough to stop the pain completely. This study found that giving Aspirin to patients admitted to the hospital for severe migraines through an IV is safe and effective in stopping migraines.

"Intravenous Aspirin is not readily available in the United States and only on a 'named patient' basis in the United Kingdom, while it is more generally used in other parts of Europe," Peter J. Goadsby, MD, PhD, with the Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco and a member of the American Academy of Neurology and author of this study was quoted as saying. "Our results show it could be a cost-effective, safe and easy to use treatment for people hospitalized for headache or migraine." A "named patient" program is only available to people who have tried all other alternative treatments and do not qualify for a clinical trial.

Researchers looked at the medical records of 168 people, 117 women and 51 men, between the ages of 18 and 75, who were hospitalized for migraines or headaches and given Aspirin through an IV. Of the 117 people, all but three had chronic daily headaches, for 15 days or more a month for three months, and nearly all the people had diagnosable migraines.

The patients were treated with an average of five doses of Aspirin, one dose being one gram of Aspirin. Only about six percent of the patients experienced side effects, which weren't considered anything serious. The side effects included nausea, vomiting, and pain at the point of injection of the IV.

Prior to treatment, during treatment, and after treatment the patients wrote journals documenting their pain on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest. A score of 1-3 was given for mild headache, 4-7 for moderate headache, and 8-10 for severe headache.

"It's important to note that participants knew they were getting treatment and a placebo was not used, although placebo-controlled trials have shown intravenous Aspirin is effective in acute migraine," said Dr. Goadsby. "Our findings warrant more research into the use of IV aspirin for severe headache or migraine."

Using Aspirin for treatment of migraines in the U.S. would be much more cost effective, time efficient, and treatment effective.

SOURCE: Neurology, published online September 21, 2010