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J Headache Pain. 2006 Dec;7(6):413-5. Epub 2006 Dec 10.

Narcotic analgesics for acute migraine in the emergency room: are we meeting Headache Societies' guidelines?

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  • 1Department of Neurology, The Aga Khan University, and Department of Medicine, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Karachi, 74800, Pakistan.


We analysed 161 patients with acute migraine in our emergency room (ER) to identify the use of narcotic analgesics as first-line treatment. Twenty-four percent of patients were treated with opioid analgesics and 76% patients were treated with non-opioid analgesics. Pain was completely relieved in 100 (62%) patients, partially relieved in 50 (31%) patients and was not relieved in 11 (7%) patients at the time of discharge. Pain relief was not related to the use of opioids vs. non-opioids. The treatment of acute migraine in our ER is in line with the guidelines of the Headache Societies and needs further improvement.

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