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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2008 Mar;79(3):321-3. Epub 2007 Oct 26.

Gabapentin for prevention of hypobaric hypoxia-induced headache: randomized double-blind clinical trial.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Shariati Hospital, Medical Sciences/University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran. jafarian_s@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

High-altitude headache (HAH) is a hypobaric hypoxia-induced symptom that is commonly experienced by newcomers to high-altitude areas.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the efficacy of gabapentin in the prevention of HAH.

METHODS:

A placebo-controlled randomised trial was performed at an altitude of 3500 m. Two hundred and four unacclimatised 15-65-year-old (mean age (+/-SD), 31.5 (SD 11.7)) hotel guests were randomly assigned to a 600 mg single-dose of gabapentin capsule or identical placebo. HAH incidence and intensity were measured to assess gabapentin efficacy. Intention-to-treat analysis was performed.

RESULTS:

HAH incidence was not significantly different between subjects under gabapentin (44 (43.1%)) compared with placebo (56 (54.9%); p = 0.09). In contrast, moderate/severe HAH had a lower incidence in the gabapentin group (27 (26.5%)) versus the placebo group (42 (41.2%)), showing that gabapentin reduced HAH attack intensity (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS:

Gabapentin was effective for the prevention of HAH and had satisfactory tolerability.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:

ISRCTN26123577.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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