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Dissolvable aspirin effective for migraine

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Effervescent aspirin, which dissolves in water, is as effective as the drugs or sumatriptan or ibuprofen used for the treatment of or migraine attacks. Aspirin in combination with or metoclopramide has been frequently used in studies for the treatment of migraine attacks. Researchers from the University Essen, Germany, found that effervescent aspirin without metoclopramide has been shown to be more effective than placebo pills for migraine. In the present study, the researchers compared effervescent aspirin with sumatriptan and ibuprofen which are standard migraine drugs. A total of 312 patients from 16 centres in Germany, Italy, and Spain were included in the study. Patients were given either effervescent aspirin, sumatriptan, ibuprofen or a placebo to treat a migraine attack. It was found that overall, 53 percent of those treated with aspirin had a reduction in headache severity, compared with 60 percent of ibuprofen-treated patients and 56 percent of sumatriptan-treated patients. In contrast, just 31 percent of placebo-treated patients experienced some relief. The percentage of patients who were pain-free after 2 hours was 27 percent in the aspirin group, 33 percent in the ibuprofen group, 37 percent in the sumatriptan group, and 12.6 percent in the placebo group. No significant differences were observed between the three active drugs in terms of accompanying symptoms. Drug-related side effects were reported in 4.1 percent of the patients on aspirin and 4.5 percent of the patients on placebo treatment. The rate of adverse events for ibuprofen and sumatriptan groups was also similar to placebo. The researchers concluded that effervescent aspirin can achieve comparable results to sumatriptan and ibuprofen in the treatment of migraine attacks and offers high efficacy and good tolerability.

November 2004

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