Aspirin eases the pain of migraine for many people and should be tried as a first line of attack against the devastating condition, experts have said...
A single dose of aspirin can zap the misery of migraine for thousands of sufferers, medics claimed yesterday.
Researchers found the common painkiller substantially reduces the blinding headache in more than half of people who take it.
They analysed 13 previous studies published by the respected Cochrane Library, involving 4222 people, and found that 900 to 1000mg of the drug completely cured 25 per cent of them within two hours. And the symptoms in 52 per cent went from ‘moderate to severe’ to no worse than mild in the same time period.
Aspirin also helped prevent the nausea, vomiting and light sensitivity migraines cause.
More than nine million people in Britain are thought to suffer from the condition, making it more common than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined. Attacks come once or twice a month, lasting four to 72 hours. The headache is often pounding, on one side of the head, frequently with nausea and sometimes vomiting.
Many sufferers already choose to use only over-the-counter medicines available without prescription from pharmacies but good reviews of the evidence have been lacking.
Sheena Derry, from the John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, and one of the researchers of the review, said: ‘My advice for sufferers would be to try aspirin or other over-the-counter medicines as a first choice and then go onto more migraine specific drugs if these do not work. A significant number of people will benefit from aspirin.’
She added that she was ‘surprised’ at how well aspirin worked against migraine.
Do you suffer from migraines? Have you found aspirin to be an effective cure?