There is controversy about the efficacy of currently used treatment modalities to alleviate migraine headaches.
We aimed to evaluate and compare the effects of magnesium sulfate and combined use of dexamethasone/metoclopramide on relieving acute migraine headache.
We randomly divided 70 patients who had been referred to an emergency department, into two equal treatment groups with the two treatment plans, and analyzed pain severity at baseline using a numeric rating scale (NRS). We gave dexamethasone/metoclopramide to one group and magnesium sulfate to the other group, and evaluated pain severity at 20 min and at 1- and 2-h intervals after infusion. Finally, we used repeated-measure and two-way analysis of variance for intra- and inter-group evaluations of pain severity and complications, respectively.
We found no significant differences in demographic data and pain severity at baseline (8.2 vs. 8.0) between the two groups (p < 0.05). In the dexamethasone/metoclopramide group, pain severity (mean ± standard deviation) was 7.4 ± 1.4 (p = 0.36), 6.0 ± 2.4, and 2.5 ± 2.9 (p < 0.0001) at 20-min, 1-h, and 2-h intervals after treatment, respectively, with statistically significant differences between the baseline values and 1-h and 2-h interval values. Administration of magnesium sulfate was associated with decreased pain severity at the three intervals (5.2 ± 1.7, 2.3 ± 1.9, and 1.3 ± 0.66, respectively), exhibiting significant differences compared to baseline values and the corresponding time intervals in the dexamethasone/metoclopramide group (p < 0.0001).
According to the results, magnesium sulfate was a more effective and fast-acting medication compared to a combination of dexamethasone/metoclopramide for the treatment of acute migraine headaches.
Shahrami A1, Assarzadegan F1, Hatamabadi HR1, Asgarzadeh M2, Sarehbandi B1, Asgarzadeh S1. “Comparison of therapeutic effects of magnesium sulfate vs. dexamethasone/metoclopramide on alleviating acute migraine headache.” J Emerg Med. 2015 Jan;48(1):69-76. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2014.06.055.
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