…and Daily Doses May Offer Recurrence Prevention
Newswise — Migraine headache is the third most common disease in the world affecting about 1 in 7 people. More prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined, migraine headaches are among the most common and potentially debilitating disorders encountered by primary health care providers. Migraines also are associated with an increased risk of stroke.
There are effective prescription medications available to treat acute migraine headaches as well as to prevent recurrent attacks. Nonetheless, in the United States many patients are not adequately treated for reasons that include limited access to health care providers and lack of health insurance or high co-pays, which make expensive medications of proven benefit unaffordable. The rates of uninsured or underinsured individuals have been estimated to be 8.5 percent nationwide and 13 percent in Florida. Furthermore, for all patients, the prescription drugs may be poorly tolerated or contraindicated.
Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine have proposed aspirin as a possible option for consideration by primary care providers who treat the majority of patients with migraine. Their review includes evidence from 13 randomized trials of the treatment of migraine in 4,222 patients and tens of thousands of patients in prevention of recurrent attacks.
Their findings, published in The American Journal of Medicine, suggest that high-dose aspirin, in doses from 900 to 1,300 milligrams given at the onset of symptoms, is an effective and safe treatment option for acute migraine headaches. In addition, some but not all randomized trials suggest the possibility that daily aspirin in doses from 81 to 325 milligrams may be an effective and safe treatment option for the prevention of recurrent migraine headaches.
“Our review supports the use of high dose aspirin to treat acute migraine as well as low dose daily aspirin to prevent recurrent attacks,” said Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Dr.PH, corresponding author, first Sir Richard Doll Professor and senior academic advisor in FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine. “Moreover, the relatively favorable side effect profile of aspirin and extremely low costs compared with other prescription drug therapies may provide additional clinical options for primary health care providers treating acute as well as recurrent migraine headaches.”
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Read the full press release on Newswise.
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