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Aspirin in the Treatment and Prevention of Migraine Headaches: Possible Additional Clinical Options for Primary Healthcare Providers

Published:November 08, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2019.10.023

      Abstract

      Migraine headaches are among the most common and potentially debilitating disorders encountered by primary healthcare providers. In the treatment of acute migraine and the prevention of recurrent attacks, there are prescription drugs of proven benefit. However, for those without health insurance or high co-pays, these drugs may be neither available nor affordable and, for all patients, they may be either poorly tolerated or contraindicated.
      The totality of evidence, which includes data from randomized trials, suggests that high-dose aspirin, in doses from 900 to 1300 mg, taken at the onset of symptoms, is an effective and safe treatment option for acute migraine headaches. In addition, the totality of evidence, including some, but not all, randomized trials, suggests the possibility that daily aspirin, in doses from 81 to 325 mg, may be an effective and safe treatment option for the prevention of recurrent migraine headaches.
      The relatively favorable side effect profile of aspirin and extremely low costs compared with other prescription drug therapies may provide additional options for primary healthcare providers in the treatment of both acute and recurrent migraine headaches.

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