Combination drug taken early relieves migraine symptoms

July 7, 2008

A combination drug taken within an hour after the start of a migraine is effective in relieving symptoms, according to research published in the July 8, 2008, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The drug combines sumatriptan, a migraine-specific drug that affects the constriction of blood vessels, with naproxen sodium, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that works on the inflammatory aspect of migraine and relieves non-traditional migraine symptoms such as sinus pain and pressure and neck pain.

"Unfortunately, many migraine sufferers put off treatment," said study author Stephen Silberstein, MD, of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. "This study provides more evidence that treating a migraine at the first sign of pain increases the likelihood of relief."

The research involved two studies with a total of 1,111 people with migraine who had experienced two to six attacks per month in the three months before the study started. Half of the people were given the sumatriptan/naproxen drug within an hour after migraine pain started and while the pain was still mild; the other half were given a placebo.

Two hours after the dose was given, about 50 percent of those who received the drug were free of any pain, compared to about 16 percent of those who got the placebo. The people who took the placebo were also two to three times more likely to progress to moderate or severe pain over four hours than those who took the drug.

Those who took the drug also had fewer traditional migraine-related symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light and sound and fewer non-traditional symptoms such as neck and sinus pain than those who took the placebo.

Silberstein noted that only people whose migraines had a mild pain phase were included in the study, so it is not clear whether the results would apply to people whose migraines start at the moderate or severe pain level.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Explore further: Oxygen therapy might ease pain of migraine, cluster headaches

Related Stories

New era of pain drugs advanced by Barrow researcher

February 9, 2010

Research led by a scientist at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center has opened the door for the advancement of a new category of painkillers, called TRPV1 antagonists.

Migraine: Aspirin and an antiemetic is a reasonable option

April 14, 2010

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. It also reduces any associated nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or ...

Scientists identify protein that may promote migraines

March 8, 2007

A University of Iowa study may provide an explanation for why some people get migraine headaches while others do not. The researchers found that too much of a small protein called RAMP1 appears to "turn up the volume" of ...

Why Women Get More Migraines Than Men

August 3, 2007

For every man with a migraine, three women are struck by the severe headaches that often come with nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and aura. That means a staggering 18 to 25 percent of women suffer from migraines, ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.