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Patient Relat Outcome Meas. 2013 Oct 11;4:61-73. doi: 10.2147/PROM.S31392.

Optimal management of severe nausea and vomiting in migraine: improving patient outcomes.

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Servicio de Neurología, Hospital Clínico Universitario, Valencia, Spain ; Departamento de Neurología, Universidad Católica de Valencia, Valencia, Spain.


Migraine is a common and potentially disabling disorder for patients, with wide-reaching implications for health care services, society, and the economy. Nausea and vomiting during migraine attacks are common symptoms that affect at least 60% of patients suffering from migraines. These symptoms are often more disabling than the headache itself, causing a great burden on the patient's life. Nausea and vomiting may delay the use of oral abortive medication or interfere with oral drug absorption. Therefore, they can hinder significantly the management and treatment of migraine (which is usually given orally). The main treatment of pain-associated symptoms of migraine (such as nausea and vomiting) is to stop the migraine attack itself as soon as possible, with the effective drugs at the effective doses, seeking if necessary alternative routes of administration. In some cases, intravenous antiemetic drugs are able to relieve a migraine attack and associated symptoms like nausea and vomiting. We performed an exhaustive PubMed search of the English literature to find studies about management of migraine and its associated symptoms. Search terms were migraine, nausea, and vomiting. We did not limit our search to a specific time period. We focused on clinical efficacy and tolerance of the various drugs and procedures based on data from human studies. We included the best available studies for each discussed drug or procedure. These ranged from randomized controlled trials for some treatments to small case series for others. Recently updated books and manuals on neurology and headache were also consulted. We herein review the efficacy of the different approaches in order to manage nausea and vomiting for migraine patents.


management; migraine; nausea; treatment; vomiting

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