Aspirin can be considered an effective and safe alternative to more expensive medications to treat acute migraines and prevent recurrent attacks, according to a review published in the American Journal of Medicine.
For the study, researchers reviewed data from randomised studies on the use of high-dose aspirin to treat migraine. They noted that in several studies, aspirin in doses of 900 to 1,200 mg was significantly more effective than placebo and comparable in efficacy to 400 mg ibuprofen and 50 mg of sumatriptan.
Some, but not all, randomised trials also suggested the possibility that daily aspirin in doses from 81 to 325 mg may be an effective and safe treatment option for the prevention of recurrent migraine headaches, the authors added.
The authors said that given the relatively favourable side effect profile of aspirin and extremely low costs, it may provide additional clinical options for primary healthcare providers treating acute as well as recurrent migraine headaches.
Commenting on the findings, senior author Charles H. Hennekens added: "If aspirin were only half as effective, 10 times more expensive, and available by prescription, then perhaps patients and, possibly some of their healthcare providers, would take it more seriously.”