The drug prochlorperazine is more effective than the opioid hydromorphone in treating emergency room patients with acute migraine, a new study reports.
According to Dr. Peter Goadsby, chairman of the American Headache Society’s Scientific Program Committee, the opioid painkiller Add to dictionary is given in about 25 percent of all emergency department visits for acute migraine. However, it is well known that the use of prescription opioids can lead to serious risks of addiction, abuse, and overdose and adversely impact treatment of migraine.
The new study was led by Dr. Benjamin Friedman of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. The evaluation included 126 patients with acute migraine treated at two New York City emergency departments. They received either prochlorperazine (Compro) plus diphenhydramine (Benadryl), or hydromorphone (Dilaudid). Patients were assessed for sustained headache relief, defined as a reduction in severity to either mild or no headache within two hours of treatment, and maintaining that level for 48 hours after one dose of medication.
Sixty percent of patients who took prochlorperazine had sustained relief, compared to 31 percent in the hydromorphone group.
This study is important in providing clear evidence that hydromorphone is significantly less effective than prochlorperazine in achieving and maintaining headache relief