What are the options for emergency department (ED) care of migraine headache?

Updated: Oct 21, 2019
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Migraine-specific medications and analgesia are key elements of ED care. Although narcotics remain the most frequently administered medication for patients with migraine and for ED patients with headache, evidence suggests that they are potentially ineffective, and their use may lead to more prolonged ED stays. [80, 81]

Friedman et al found that nearly three quarters of ED patients with migraine or other primary headache reported headache recurrence within 48 hours of ED discharge; in this study, naproxen 500 mg and oral sumatriptan 100 mg provided comparable relief of post-ED recurrent migraine. [82]

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