Medical treatment guidelines for acute migraine attacks

Treatment Guideline Subcommittee of Taiwan Headache Society

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In 2015, the American Headache Society (AHS) amended the treatment guideline of acute migraine based on evidence-based medicine (EBM) that all triptans in any form of preparations, acetaminophen, and non-steroid anti-inflammation drugs-NSAID (aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen), sumatriptan/ naproxen, combined acetaminophen/aspirin/caffeine are considered effective (Level A). Previously effective drugs as prochlorperazine, and dihydroergotamine-DHE (excluded inhaled form) were downrated to probable effective (Level B). Taiwan Headache Society published its treatment guideline for acute migraine attack in 2007. It should be updated based on the new available evidence. The Treatment Guideline Subcommittee of Taiwan Headache Society reviewed the recent trials, evaluated the grade of evidence, and appraised the clinical efficacy to reach a new consensus. We also referred to the guidelines from United States, Europe, Canada and other countries to make this one meets our needs and feasible. Acute medications currently available in Taiwan can be categorized into “migraine-specific” and“migraine-nonspecific” groups. Migraine-specific triptans and migraine-nonspecific nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have the best levels of evidence, and are recommended as the first-line medications for acute migraine attacks. The administration should follow the concept of “stratified care”. For mild to moderate migraine attacks, oral NSAIDs are the first choice; with oral aspirin, combination analgesics, intravenous/intramuscular NSAIDs as alternatives. For moderate to severe attacks, oral or nasal spray triptans and ergotamine/caffeine compounds are recommended and should be administered in the early stage of migraine attacks. Antiemetics can be used as supplement to alleviate nausea and vomiting. Notably, a combination of a triptan and a NSAID yielded a better efficacy compared with either therapy alone. Parenteral steroid and fluid supply are the first choice in treatment of status migrainosus. Acetaminophen is suitable for mild to moderate migraine attacks and remains the first choice for children and pregnant women. Opiates are not recommended for acute migraine treatment at the present time because of serious adverse events. To prevent medication-overuse headache, the use of acute treatment should be limited to a maximum of ten days a month.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-96
Number of pages19
JournalActa Neurologica Taiwanica
Volume26
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Acute migraine treatment
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Treatment guidelines
  • Triptans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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