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Don’t dismiss aspirin for those migraines

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Aspirin may seem too old-fashioned to be effective against headaches as severe as migraines, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

In a review of previous studies, researchers at the Cochrane Library found that 1,000 milligrams of good old-fashioned salicylic acid works fairly well at easing migraine pain.

For 1 in 4 people, it takes away the pain completely in two hours. For 1 in 2 people, it reduces the pain to mild or better. In fact, the medicine cabinet staple works about as well as the prescription drug sumatriptan at controlling the headaches.

An anti-nausea drug, specifically metoclopramide, can ease that roiling feeling that often accompanies migraines, the researchers add.

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Here’s the review summary.

And here’s information on sumatriptan (brand name Imitrex), metoclopramide (Reglan) and aspirin (Bayer, Bufferin among others), all from RxList.

Plus, a good overview of migraines from MedicineNet and a summary of migraine treatment from the American Headache Society.

-- Tami Dennis

Photo illustration credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times


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