Aspirin is considered by many to be one of the better migraine treatments, both as an abortive and a preventative treatment. Should it be getting more attention?
Dr. Lidia T. Savi reported on an aspirin and migraine study at the European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress. The study looked at a number of preventatives, and found that aspirin held its own.
Out of 194 patients with migraine with aura, 90 were given 300mg of aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) each day. The rest were on a variety of other preventatives, such as propranolol (Inderal) and topiramate (Topamax). How did the patients do?
First question – how many saw a 50% improvement after 32 weeks?
Obviously, the aspirin group generally did much better than the rest. How about a 75% improvement after 32 weeks?
Once again, aspirin out did the others. As expected, there were few problems with aspirin, and no patients had to stop taking it over the 32 weeks due to side effects. Better yet, the patients on aspirin already saw improvement after 16 weeks (just over 3 and a half months).
This study does tell us that we need to seriously consider aspirin as a preventative treatment for migraine with aura. This study does not tell us that aspirin will be the most helpful for you.
This study actually raises a lot of questions. The methods can drastically change the outcome. For example, how were the patients diagnosed? Why were they put on the preventatives – was it random? There is no doubt whatsoever that some medications work better for some than others.
Even the lead researcher admitted that a larger study is needed.
It would be interesting to see more study in this area, especially for two reasons:
- Migraine has been associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Would aspirin help with treatment?
- Some studies suggest that migraineurs have an increased risk of aspirin resistance. Why is that, and how would it affect treatment?
Meanwhile, this may be an option you’ll want to discuss with your doctor.
For more information:
- Daily aspirin therapy: Understand the benefits and risks
- Aspirin’s effect on platelet inhibition in migraineurs.
- Migraine With Aura: Aspirin Called Best Prophylaxis