Home > Search Results

About - Migraine

Migraine headaches are usually characterized by severe pain on one or both sides of the head, an upset stomach, and, at times, disturbed vision.

Results: 1 to 20 of 58

Medicines to prevent vestibular migraine

Vestibular migraine is a form of migraine in which the main symptoms relate to dizziness and the balance system. It is a common problem, known to affect 1% of the general population and possibly more because it is thought to be under diagnosed. There is still no agreement on which is the best treatment available to prevent attacks of vestibular migraine.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Migraine diary

The best way to find the triggers that cause your migraines is to keep a diary or log of your migraine attacks for a few weeks or months. You will find a printable template for this kind of diary here.A migraine diary can help you record the following things on days you have migraines: What was happening around the time the migraine started?Did you feel stressed out?Did you get enough sleep?Did you eat anything out of the ordinary?When did you have a migraine today?MorningNoonAfternoonNightHow long did the migraine last? __ hoursHow severe was the pain?MildModerateSevereDid you take any medication? (If so: what kind and how much)NoYes, type:

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 19, 2015

Sumatriptan (intranasal route of administration) for acute migraine attacks in adults

Sumatriptan is one of the triptan family of drugs used to treat migraine attacks. It is available as a nasal spray, and this route of administration may be preferable for individuals experiencing nausea and/or vomiting, although absorption of the drug occurs primarily in the gut rather than the nasal mucosa. This review found that a single intranasal dose was effective in relieving migraine headache pain and associated symptoms of nausea, sensitivity to light, and sensitivity to sound. Pain was reduced from moderate or severe to no pain by two hours in approximately 2 in 10 people (24%) taking sumatriptan 10 mg, compared with about 1 in 10 (10%) taking placebo. Pain was reduced from moderate or severe to no worse than mild pain by two hours in 5 in 10 people (50%) taking sumatriptan 10 mg, compared with approximately 3 in 10 (32%) taking placebo. In addition to relieving headache pain, sumatriptan also relieved symptoms of nausea and sensitivity to light and sound by two hours in about half of those who took it, compared with about one‐third of those who took placebo. The 20 mg dose had greater efficacy, but may be associated with more adverse events, most of which were of short duration and mild or moderate in severity.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Sumatriptan (subcutaneous route of administration) for acute migraine attacks in adults

Sumatriptan is one of the triptan family of drugs used to treat migraine attacks. It is available as a subcutaneous injection, and this route of administration may be preferable for individuals experiencing nausea and/or vomiting, or needing fast relief. This review found that a single subcutaneous dose was effective in relieving migraine headache pain and associated symptoms of nausea, sensitivity to light, and sensitivity to sound. Pain was reduced from moderate or severe to no pain by two hours in almost 6 in 10 people (59%) taking sumatriptan 6 mg, compared with about 1 in 7 (15%) taking placebo, and reduced from moderate or severe to no worse than mild pain by two hours in almost 8 in 10 people (79%) taking sumatriptan compared with about 3 in 10 (31%) taking placebo. Subcutaneous sumatriptan was fast‐acting, and the majority of people experiencing pain relief had done so by one hour. About 3 in 10 (31%) people had freedom from pain at two hours which was sustained during the 24 hours postdose without the use of rescue medication, compared with about 1 in 7 (15%) with placebo. In addition to relieving headache pain, sumatriptan also relieved symptoms of nausea and sensitivity to light and sound by two hours in about half of those who took it, compared with about one‐third of those taking placebo. Adverse events, most of which were of short duration and mild or moderate in severity, were more frequent with sumatriptan than with placebo.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Ibuprofen with or without an antiemetic for acute migraine headaches in adults

This is an updated version of the original Cochrane review published in Issue 10, 2010 (Rabbie 2010); no new studies were found. A single oral dose of ibuprofen 200 mg or 400 mg is effective in relieving pain in migraine headaches. Pain will be reduced from moderate or severe to no pain by two hours in just over 1 in 4 people (26%) taking ibuprofen 400 mg, compared with about 1 in 10 (12%) taking placebo. It will be reduced from moderate or severe to no worse than mild pain by two hours in roughly 1 in 2 people (57%) taking ibuprofen compared with approximately 1 in 4 (25%) taking placebo. Of those who experience effective headache relief at two hours, more have that relief sustained over 24 hours with ibuprofen than with placebo. A 200‐mg dose is slightly less effective, while soluble formulations give more rapid responses. A single 400‐mg dose of ibuprofen has efficacy similar to that shown for a single dose of 1000 mg aspirin in a separate Cochrane review (Kirthi 2013).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Acupuncture for preventing migraine attacks

The available evidence suggests that a course of acupuncture consisting of at least six treatment sessions can be a valuable option for people with migraine.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Sumatriptan (rectal route of administration) for acute migraine attacks in adults

Sumatriptan is one of the triptan family of drugs used to treat migraine attacks. It is available as a rectal suppository in some countries, and this route of administration may be preferable for individuals experiencing nausea and/or vomiting. This review found that a single dose administered rectally was effective in relieving migraine headache pain and functional disability. Pain was reduced from moderate or severe to no pain by two hours in approximately 2 in 5 people (41%) taking sumatriptan 25 mg, compared with about 1 in 6 (17%) taking placebo. Pain was reduced from moderate or severe to no worse than mild pain by two hours in roughly 2 in 3 people (71%) taking sumatriptan 25 mg, compared with approximately 1 in 3 (30%) taking placebo. In addition to relieving headache pain, sumatriptan 25 mg also relieved functional disability by two hours in about 2 in 5 people (41%), compared with about 1 in 6 (16%) taking placebo. There was not enough evidence to draw any conclusions about the incidence of adverse events or to compare rectal sumatriptan directly with any other active comparators.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Diclofenac with or without an antiemetic for acute migraine headaches in adults

This review found that oral diclofenac potassium 50 mg was an effective treatment for migraine headache, reducing moderate to severe pain to no more than mild pain within two hours in about half (55%) of those treated, to no pain at two hours in about one in five (22%), and to no pain sustained to 24 hours in about the same number (19%). Adverse events were mostly self limiting and of mild or moderate intensity, and were not significantly different from placebo over the short term. Although diclofenac provided good outcomes for some people, almost half did not experience adequate pain relief within two hours, and as few as one in five became pain‐free. It is not clear whether the 100 mg dose provides good outcomes for more people. For those who do not experience adequate responses, a different therapy will be needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Sumatriptan (oral route of administration) for acute migraine attacks in adults

Sumatriptan is one of the triptan family of drugs used to treat migraine attacks. It is widely available as an oral tablet. This review found that a single dose was effective in relieving migraine headache pain and associated symptoms of nausea, sensitivity to light, and sensitivity to sound. Pain was reduced from moderate or severe to no pain by two hours in about 3 in 10 people (32%) taking sumatriptan 100 mg, compared with about 1 in 10 (11%) taking placebo. Pain was reduced from moderate or severe to no worse than mild pain by two hours in 6 in 10 people (61%) taking sumatriptan 100 mg, compared with about 3 in 10 (32%) taking placebo. Almost a quarter (24%) of people taking sumatriptan 100 mg had freedom from pain at two hours which was sustained during 24 hours without the use of rescue medication, compared with fewer than 1 in 10 (8%) taking placebo. In addition to relieving headache pain, sumatriptan also relieved symptoms of nausea and sensitivity to light and sound by two hours in about half of those who took it, compared with about one‐third of those taking placebo. Adverse events were mostly of short duration and mild or moderate in severity, and were experienced by about 4 in 10 (43%) of people taking sumatriptan 100 mg, and by 2 in 10 (23%) taking placebo. The 50 mg dose had slightly lower efficacy, but was associated with fewer adverse events. Treating attacks while pain was still mild was more effective than treating established attacks with moderate or severe pain intensity.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Paracetamol (acetaminophen) with or without an antiemetic for acute migraine in adults

This is an updated version of the original Cochrane review published in Issue 11, 2010 (Derry 2010). New searches identified one additional study for inclusion; this study compared paracetamol with etodolac and did not contribute to any of the analyses in the review.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Normal pressure oxygen therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy for migraine and cluster headaches

Migraine and cluster headaches are severe and disabling. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT, that is the breathing of pure oxygen at pressures greater than one atmosphere in a pressurised chamber) and normal pressure oxygen therapy (NBOT) can be delivered via a mask at home or in a clinic. These treatments may help to end acute attacks and prevent future attacks.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Aspirin with or without an antiemetic for acute migraine headaches in adults

This is an updated version of the original Cochrane review published in Issue 4, 2010 (Kirthi 2010); no new studies were found. A single oral dose of 1000 mg of aspirin reduced pain from moderate or severe to none by two hours in approximately 1 in 4 people (24%) taking aspirin, compared with about 1 in 10 (11%) taking placebo. Pain was reduced from moderate or severe to no worse than mild pain by two hours in roughly 1 in 2 people (52%) taking aspirin compared with approximately 1 in 3 (32%) taking placebo. Of those who experienced effective headache relief at two hours, more had that relief sustained over 24 hours with aspirin than with placebo. Addition of 10 mg of the antiemetic metoclopramide substantially increased relief of nausea and vomiting compared with aspirin alone, but made little difference to pain.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Feverfew for preventing migraine

Migraine is a common, disabling headache disorder. Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.) is a herbal remedy used for the prevention of migraine attacks. For this update of a previous Cochrane review, we reviewed the available evidence up to January 2015 for or against feverfew in the prevention of migraine and found six studies including 561 participants. Generally the studies were heterogeneous and their results were mixed. The previous version of this review showed no clear benefit of feverfew compared with placebo. We added a new study, which is larger and was carried out to high standards, to this review. It showed that feverfew reduced migraine frequency by a little more than half a migraine (0.6) per month compared to placebo. There was no difference in how severe the pain was, or how long it lasted. These results come from a single study of moderate size, therefore they must be viewed with caution until they are confirmed in other rigorous studies. No major adverse effects were associated with feverfew in the included studies.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Migraine: Overview

Migraines are quite different than the usual kind of headaches that most people have every now and then. They typically start suddenly, with moderate to severe pain on only one side of your head. Even small movements often make the pain worse. What can help relieve migraines? How can they be prevented?

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 19, 2015

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin‐norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) for preventing migraine

Migraine is a common condition that can significantly impair people's quality of life. Individuals who experience frequent or severe migraine may benefit from preventive medications taken prior to an attack and before the pain starts. Studies have suggested the potential role of neurotransmitters in the genesis of headache. Accordingly, drugs that inhibit the passage of neurotransmitters in brain cells and, therefore, increase their levels, have been examined for their potential benefit in preventing migraine. Two classes of inhibitors, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin‐norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), typically used to treat depression, are evaluated in this review.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Migraine prevention in children and teenagers

The symptoms of an acute migraine attack can be relieved with medication. Some children and teenagers keep getting migraines, though. If the migraine attacks are frequent, many children and their parents try to find ways to prevent them.About 10 out of 100 teenagers have migraines in puberty. Sometimes the migraines stop after puberty, but some people still have them as adults. Painkillers and migraine medication are effective treatments for migraine attacks. A number of these medicines are also suitable for children and teenagers.Frequent migraine attacks can be very taxing. Taking preventive medication can help – but is most effective in combination with other preventive strategies.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 18, 2015

Migraine prevention in adults

The symptoms of migraine attacks can usually be relieved with painkillers or migraine medication. People who have migraines would usually prefer to stop them from happening in the first place, though. Keeping a migraine diary can help identify possible triggers. Preventive treatment can reduce the number of migraine attacks.Most people with migraine have a type known as episodic migraine, where the attacks occur more or less regularly. Fewer than 2% of people with migraine have a different type known as chronic migraine. This is where the migraine headaches occur on 15 or more days per month over a period of three months or more.Migraine attacks are very painful and can have a major impact on quality of life. Many people with migraine would like to do something themselves to prevent attacks from happening in the first place. A number of different preventive measures can be taken. For instance, some people try to avoid possible migraine triggers. Others learn relaxation techniques or try out an endurance sport. Taking preventive medicine every day is another option.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 18, 2015

Valproate for preventing migraine attacks in adults

Various medicines, collectively termed 'antiepileptics', are used to treat epilepsy. For several years, some of these drugs have also been used for preventing migraine attacks. For the present review, researchers in The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed the evidence about the effects of valproate (valproic acid or sodium valproate or a combination of the two) in adult patients (≥ 16 years of age) with 'episodic' migraine (headache on < 15 days per month). They examined research published up to 15 January 2013 and found 10 relevant studies. Compared with placebo, valproate reduced the frequency of migraine headaches by approximately four per month (two studies, 63 participants). Patients were also more than twice as likely to reduce the number of their migraine headaches by 50% or more with valproate than with placebo (five studies, 576 participants). Side effects associated with valproate were common but generally mild; valproate can, however, cause birth defects and so should be used with caution in women of childbearing age. Further research is needed comparing valproate with other active drugs used for preventing migraine attacks.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Gabapentin or pregabalin for preventing migraine attacks in adults

Various medicines, collectively termed 'antiepileptics', are used to treat epilepsy. For several years, some of these drugs have also been used for preventing migraine attacks. For the present review, researchers in The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed the evidence about the effects of gabapentin and two related drugs (pregabalin and gabapentin enacarbil) in adult patients (≥ 16 years of age) with 'episodic' migraine (headache on < 15 days per month). They examined research published up to 15 January 2013, along with three unpublished and previously confidential drug company research reports, and found six relevant studies, five of gabapentin and one of gabapentin enacarbil, both over a wide dose range. The studies showed that neither gabapentin nor gabapentin enacarbil was more effective than placebo at reducing the frequency of migraine headaches. Gabapentin commonly caused side effects, especially dizziness and somnolence (sleepiness). No studies of pregabalin were identified, and research on this drug is desirable.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Antiepileptics other than gabapentin, pregabalin, topiramate, and valproate for preventing migraine attacks in adults

Various medicines, collectively termed 'antiepileptics', are used to treat epilepsy. For several years, three antiepileptics have also been recommended as drugs of first choice (topiramate and valproate) or third choice (gabapentin) for preventing migraine attacks. These three drugs, along with one other (pregabalin), are the subject of separate Cochrane reviews. For the present review, researchers in The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed the evidence about the effect of other antiepileptics in adult patients (≥ 16 years of age) with 'episodic' migraine (headache on < 15 days per month). They examined research published up to 15 January 2013 and found 10 studies of nine different antiepileptics. The majority of these drugs were no better than placebo for migraine prophylaxis (acetazolamide, carisbamate, clonazepam, lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, and vigabatrin). In one study each, carbamazepine and levetiracetam were better than placebo, and there was no significant difference between zonisamide and topiramate (a drug proven to be effective for migraine prophylaxis). None of these studies was of high methodological quality. The quantity and quality of the evidence were such that no firm conclusions could be drawn about the effect or lack of effect of any of the antiepileptics studied.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Systematic Reviews in PubMed

See all (1052)...

Systematic Review Methods in PubMed

See all (18)...

Recent Activity

    Your browsing activity is empty.

    Activity recording is turned off.

    Turn recording back on

    See more...